Crafting Scrolls in PFS 2e


Pathfinder Society

Silver Crusade 3/5

I have some questions regarding Crafting scrolls in PFS 2e.

I am relatively new to second edition, but I have a character who is considering diving deep into scrolls. Originally I thought he would just buy a bunch of scrolls, but now I'm considering having him Craft them.

I realize that some of this post is really more appropriate for the Rules forum, but the primary question (Question 1, below) is all about Society play.

Question 1. Is it worth it (in Pathfinder Society)?
I guess this is the big question.

Please offer sound arguments either for or against. :)

The two types of costs to consider are the material costs for the scrolls plus the opportunity costs of the Skill Feat slot (to take Magical Crafting) and the Skill training (for the Craft skill).

Another consideration for my particular case is the fact that the character in question has Int –1. This makes the Craft skill less appealing and the skill training slot more valuable.

Question 2. How does it work?
I think I have the basic understanding of it, but I still have questions.

I know that I need the Craft skill and the Magical Crafting feat. I also know that I need formulas for crafting magic items (the feat grants 4 formulas to start).

Sub-Question 2a. Do I need a formula for each spell I want to Craft onto a scroll?

Sub-Question 2b. Can I Craft the same spell at different levels with the same formula (assuming I can cast that spell at different levels)?

Sub-Question 2c. How difficult is it? I am not seeing the Crafting DC listed anywhere.

Sub-Question 2d. Should I expect table variation in any of these mechanics?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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

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Regarding Questions 2a,b,d, you've probably seen the debates over in the Rules Forum, so suffice it to say: "Nobody knows".

But there is a second round of Core Rulebook errata getting released this month that should hopefully address those sub-questions.

Regarding Question #1... That's tough and generally an individual decision. I'll toss out a couple examples:

I have a Crafting-focused character with an Int of 10. He's currently an Expert in Crafting. I'm considering making him Master next level (Level 8). BUT! He's a Rogue. I have a plethora of skills and skill increases to "play" with, whereas someone like a Fighter wouldn't.

On the other hand, I will soon have an Elf Cleric/Druid with an Int of 16 who will begin play being Trained in nearly every skill, including Crafting. Because of her high Int, she will be as decent at Crafting as my Rogue for most of their shared levels, without investing any skill increases.

So the value of Crafting depends on how big it will impact your overall skill effectiveness. If you're a low-Int character with few skill increases... I wouldn't recommend it with this character.

In general, a Crafting-focused character will save more money Crafting than they would make Earning Income. This is actually easy to calculate if you know which items you want to Craft as you level up. If it turns out you only save a handful of gold, you might want to just flavor your character as Crafting between missions, and actually just be buying your scrolls with your Earned Income.

I wish I had done those calculations when my Rogue was lower level. He just hit 7th, and decided to Craft a batch of Level 7 poison. I only realized after I rolled the Crafting check that he won't finish the batch until he's Level 8. Assuming I continue Crafting equal-level items, I'm only going to be rolling a small number of Crafting checks for the remainder of his career.

Crafting lower-level items can sometimes be completed in as little as one session, but because you might Crit that roll and finish in less than 4 Days of Downtime, your success kind of goes wasted.

Welcome back to the Forums ^_^

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

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The Fox wrote:
Sub-Question 2c. How difficult is it? I am not seeing the Crafting DC listed anywhere.

Crafting DCs are on page 503.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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First answer is already top answer. Thanks Nefreet!

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Nefreet wrote:
In general, a Crafting-focused character will save more money Crafting than they would make Earning Income.

I'd have to find or rebuild an Excel sheet to be sure, but I believe this only holds for crafting items near your level. If you craft at your level (and either do large batches or have that faction boon that omits the 4 day lead time), you make out like a bandit. If you craft smaller batches or go down one level, it's breakevenish, and if you do both OR craft at Level-2 (or below), it's better to Earn Income and buy the item outright.

In PFS, the problem is that what you're crafting will become Level-1 if you don't finish something that level, and even with Field Commissioning, you sometimes don't have enough Downtime to finish something before you level up.

So basically be vigilant about opportunity cost. At the beginning of each level, pick something you're going to need the next level and adjust your batch based on the price and what you may want to craft the next level.

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

If you do finish that spreadsheet, let us know.

A few spreadsheet gurus in this Forum tried and gave up.

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Nefreet wrote:
A few spreadsheet gurus in this Forum tried and gave up.

This concerns me; I'm no guru, so if people have tried and failed, it's more likely that I've missed something than come up with something brilliant.

That being said, I've copied it into a Google Sheet: Link

I couldn't get the formulas to copy over, so everything is just numbers.

Char = Character Level
TEML = Training Level, assumed to be bumped at every opportunity
Int = Intelligence, assumed to start at 18 and get bumped to 22
Mod = Crafting Modifier
EI Task = Earned Income Task Level
EI DC = Earned Income DC
EI F/S/CS (#1) = Number of d20 rolls that will create Failure, Success, and Critical Success (Critical Failure earns 0, so its probability is irrelevant)
EI F/S/CS (#2) = The amount earned with a Failure, Success, and Crit
EI EV = The Expected Value of the previous 6 columns (values weighted by probabilities
L/L-1/L-2 DC = The Crafting check DC when choosing to craft at level, or below level
L/L-1/L-2 CF/F/S/CS (#1) = Number of d20 rolls that will create Critical Failure, Failure, Success, and Critical Successes
L/L-1/L-2 CF/F/S/CS (#2) = Values of each of those outcomes. Critical Failure is negative because it ruins raw materials.
L/L-1/L-2 EV init = Expected Value of Crafting on the first day (assuming 4 days dead time), as if you Crafted for 1 Downtime and then bought the item immediately
L/L-1/L-2 EV inf = Expected Value of Crafting if making an infinite batch (basically diluting the dead time to 0), the upper limit of Crafting
L/L-1/L-2 ratio init = EV(init) divided by EV(Earn Income), essentially the lower bound of Crafting efficiency
L/L-1/L-2 ratio inf = EV(inf) divided by EV(Earn Income), essentially the upper bound of Crafting efficiency

Note that if you spend n 8-day Downtime sessions Crafting, you can basically average the EVs of 1 initial day plus n-1 infinite days.

Graphs of L/L-1/L-2 ratios:

Link

Disclaimers:

1. Only 8-day Downtime sessions were considered because I didn't know about Field Commission when I made this.

2. The Horizon Hunter boon that allows Earn Income at higher level basically makes Crafting worthless by bumping up the EI level. Also, I didn't know about that boon when I made this.

3. Any items or boons that give item bonuses to downtime Crafting were not considered because I'm unaware of any. (If you hadn't guessed, I don't spend a huge amount of time trying to milk my boons and items.)

---

tl;dr: Crafting beats Earned Income in the following scenarios: 1. You are Crafting at your Character Level, or 2. You are Crafting at CL-1 and you spend at least 3-4 eight-day Downtime sessions crafting a large batch of something. Crafters make out like bandits (earning 1.5-2.0x as much as Earners of Income) when they Craft at their level AND make a batch that takes EXACTLY the number of Downtime they have in a level (once they level up, they go to CL-1 and the EI baseline goes up!)

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

Good to hear that last part. That's exactly what my Rogue is doing now.

I believe all the variables you described and didn't account for are why other people gave up. Plus, not every Crafter will have an Int of 18. Mine is only 10.

Also, you'd have to factor in 2-day Quests. I've made great use of those 2 days towards my 4-day Prep, because for some reason the 6 days remaining to Craft lines up perfectly with the 50% reduction in cost.

But then the ultimate dilemma for Crafters is whether the X savings in gold is worth the investment in Skill Increases and other investitures. If you're spending money on a Crafter's Eyepiece, is that +1 skill worth the 5% less fail rate?

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

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Some other variables: Goblin Junk Tinker for a bonus day.

As mentioned Envoy's Alliance get Crafter's Workshop at Tier 2 which eliminates the 4 days to prep crafting which is huge.

With that you beat out the Earn Income at level every-time you craft something below level as you get to use the easier DC but still make progress at your level. Also crafting lower level items increases your expected value because you lose less on a crit-fail and are more likely so succeed/crit succeed.

At higher levels Crafter's potentially get Impeccable Crafter which increases the expected value immensely, particularly combined with the lack of prep time above.

I'm going to stack an example in favor of crafting for dramatic purposes:

Imagine for a second you're level 7,
Master in Crafting +13
Specialty Crafting +1
Int +4
Item +1
Impeccable Crafter
Crafter's Workshop

Lets say you want to craft a level 5 item, it's DC20 and you're +19 so you can't possibly critical fail. On a 1 you fail and literally nothing happens, roll again. On any other result you get a critical success and make 3gp of progress per day.

Earning Income at level 7 with a +19 at task level 5 (DC20)gets you 5% Fail (0.2); 45% Success (1gp); 50% Crit (2gp) = Expected Value of 1.6225gp/day

If you are instead earning income at task level 7 (DC 23) You 5% Crit Fail (0); 10% Fail (0.4); 50% Success (2.5), 30% Crit Success (3gp)
= Expected Value of 2.19gp/day

There's a bunch of other complications including Retail Incentive turning CF/F on earn income into double fail gold

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Nefreet wrote:
I believe all the variables you described and didn't account for are why other people gave up.

Well, to be frank, trying to keep up with all the boons and quirks about PFS that aren't in Pathfinder will probably be the cited reason I quit PFS if I ever quit PFS.

Quote:
Also, you'd have to factor in 2-day Quests. I've made great use of those 2 days towards my 4-day Prep, because for some reason the 6 days remaining to Craft lines up perfectly with the 50% reduction in cost.

The reason I made the spreadsheet as is - with the Init/Inf designations - is that they can be used as modular blocks.

If you play a quest, then a scenario, then a quest, you have 2+8+2 = 12 days total, and you can weight it as 1x(Init)+0.5x(Inf).

Quote:
But then the ultimate dilemma for Crafters is whether the X savings in gold is worth the investment in Skill Increases and other investitures.

I created this sheet for my alchemist, who has 18 Int and will boost Crafting whether she Earns Income or Crafts items (upper bound). But since your character seems to be the lower bound, I just changed all the Int to +0 and training to +2, and re-plotted the graph on Slide 2 for you. Not surprisingly, if you don't invest in Crafting, it's not worth crafting.

Robert Hetherington wrote:

Some other variables: Goblin Junk Tinker for a bonus day.

As mentioned Envoy's Alliance get Crafter's Workshop at Tier 2 which eliminates the 4 days to prep crafting which is huge.

There's a bunch of other complications including Retail Incentive turning CF/F on earn income into double fail gold

All of these are actually easily modeled.

Add Junk Tinker as an infinite day. So instead of total EV = 1*(Init)+(n-1)*(Inf), it equals 1*(Init)+(n)*(Inf). Field Commissioned becomes 1*(Init)+0.5*(Inf) on the first day and (n-1)*Inf on subsequent days.

Crafter's Workshop just becomes all infinite days since there's no lead time.

Retail Incentives I'm unfamiliar with, but if it's just CF/F goes to 2x Fail gold, that's pretty easy to change and I can post the graph.

I don't know how to do the fancy things like being able to click a button and have the sheet update, but I can update the sheet and post graphs if someone presents a closed list of scenarios. I'm not going to do it for dozens of characters or scour the ends of the earth for esoteric boons, though.

After I made the worksheet, my alchemist decided to retrain into Field Commissioned and Craft rather than Earn Income. (I didn't know about the rebuild boon so I spent Downtime retraining for a few months, so I haven't put much into practice.)

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