Why Craft?


Rules Discussion

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The Exchange

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Garulo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

No real advantage to mechanical crafting if your DM allows buying what you want when you want to or allows you to earn income at an equal level as needed.

But crafting can be nice if the DM is following the rules for maximum level for tasks or items in a given town as crafting allows you to exceed these levels.

It is also fairly good for low level crafting as you can easily roll a critical success for low level items and produce them quickly for half the price.

If all you're doing is making a magic sword every once in a while, crafting not worth it. If you want to cheaply produce scrolls or wands for additional spell uses, it can be a worthwhile investment.

Critical success provides for 1/2 price? I thought a critical success only means you craft at level +1 in terms of income dayrate?
No. It is just an automatic success for the highest possible reduction in cost, so you can produce items faster and save half the cost doing so. If you're a lvl 17 crafter getting an auto success to count as crafting at lvl 18 for cost and producing lvl 8 items or something, you can make them real fast for half cost. Or half real cost since every day spent crafting after the initial amount reduces the amount the item costs by that days equivalent earnings roll which would be like earning income for a lvl 18 skill.

Ah - so instead of half cost, it is the differential between the two levels which you get for the investment of 3 skill feats and 2 skill increases as opposed to 1 skill feat and no skill increases. Assuming PFS, that means the value of the 2 extra skill feats and 2 skill increases is actually quite little which is actually reasonably in line with what I have heard a lot of players say in PFS


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Garulo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Garulo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

No real advantage to mechanical crafting if your DM allows buying what you want when you want to or allows you to earn income at an equal level as needed.

But crafting can be nice if the DM is following the rules for maximum level for tasks or items in a given town as crafting allows you to exceed these levels.

It is also fairly good for low level crafting as you can easily roll a critical success for low level items and produce them quickly for half the price.

If all you're doing is making a magic sword every once in a while, crafting not worth it. If you want to cheaply produce scrolls or wands for additional spell uses, it can be a worthwhile investment.

Critical success provides for 1/2 price? I thought a critical success only means you craft at level +1 in terms of income dayrate?
No. It is just an automatic success for the highest possible reduction in cost, so you can produce items faster and save half the cost doing so. If you're a lvl 17 crafter getting an auto success to count as crafting at lvl 18 for cost and producing lvl 8 items or something, you can make them real fast for half cost. Or half real cost since every day spent crafting after the initial amount reduces the amount the item costs by that days equivalent earnings roll which would be like earning income for a lvl 18 skill.
Ah - so instead of half cost, it is the differential between the two levels which you get for the investment of 3 skill feats and 2 skill increases as opposed to 1 skill feat and no skill increases. Assuming PFS, that means the value of the 2 extra skill feats and 2 skill increases is actually quite little which is actually reasonably in line with what I have heard a lot of players say in PFS

I don't think you really need more than magical crafting.

From my understanding the way crafting works is you get the cost of the item. You supply at least half of the cost in materials, then you make a roll and if you succeed you can pay the full cost and the item is done. Or you can keep working and reduce the cost by an amount equal to what you would earn using Crafting as an earn income source. If you critically succeed, it is your crafting level plus 1 for earned income.

Let's say you're a high level crafter like level 17. You want to make say a bunch of 5th level synesthesia scrolls. Each level 5 scroll costs you 150 gold.

You are level 17 crafter and need a DC26 crafting check to make a level 9 item. At level 17 with a 20 intel and Legendary crafting with maybe a crafter's eyepiece, your bonus is +32 bonus. So you critically succeed on a 4 or better.

So you supply 75 gold in materials and make your roll. You critically succeed and earn income at 18 which is worth 90 gold. Boom, one roll and you constructed a lvl 5 scroll for 75 gold per scroll easily.

Now if you're in an area where the DM is letting you earn income at lvl 17 or 18, then who cares. You earn a few days of income and buy the scrolls. But if you're in some level 12 or 13 city, it's still useful to be able to craft items for half the gold cost quickly.

Crafting usefulness is highly dependent on how fast and loose your GM is with buying stuff and allowing earn income activities of a particular level.

That being said I think they made the earn income and crafting annoyingly complicated for the players and DM. The main use I see for it is an intelligence based caster wanting to construct cheap low level casting items to boost the amount of casts of something that doesn't require heightening to be very effective.

For most classes crafting isn't worth he hassle. A high level caster with teleport or plane shift can just teleport or shift to a location where he can earn income at a high level and not worry about it. That's even if they want to bother with it all, since magic items aren't particularly needed to be effective other than martials needing their magic weapons.


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The thing with the crafting rules is that they are based on the assumption that you don't have easy/unlimited access to just buy anything you want (which is the base assumption regarding access of items of both 5e and PF2 - heck, the base assumption for 5e is that you can't buy magic items at all, with the stuff in Xanathar's guide that lists prices for magic items being an optional rule for people who really want magic item purchasing in their games).

Unfortunately, a lot of GMs and players aren't used to that idea yet (a lot of the general gaming public doesn't seem to share or understand that base assumption).

If your GM lets you just fast travel into town and buy 100 healing elixirs for their listed book price, crafting loses its value. If your GM structures the game in a different way (the town you visit only has 1d4 healing elixirs available, it takes weeks of travelling in downtime to reach a town, etc) then crafting suddenly becomes very valuable as it gives you access.

It isn't about the price difference between buying the item and crafting the item, it is about being able to guarantee that you can obtain the item in the quantities you want (or at all), without going as far out of your way.

Essentially, for crafting to work, your GM has to be running the right kind of game. (Not to say that GMs who don't run things in a certain way are wrong, they are just running it in a way that isn't conducive to crafting being valuable).

My advice is to talk to your GM/talk to your players. If the players want to have fun crafting things, the GM should consider adjusting how they handle access to items in their games to be more limited/conditional, so that the players who invest in crafting get to have their niche - players definitely need to be informed by GMs about how this stuff will work in a campaign before they make a character - I have made a lot of characters where I tried to do the crafting thing, but consistently had GMs who structured their games in a way that made crafting either worthless (due to being able to just purchase everything whenever) or impossible (due to not having enough downtime to craft anything).

The same advice really goes for anything players might want to specialize in that doesn't seem to be giving them any advantage - for example, investing in climbing kits and climbing related feats feels pretty bad if your GM then presents you with dungeons and environments in which climbing doesn't give you an advantage, so as a GM I try to sprinkle locations and situations that reward investment in climbing throughout whatever I put together, and as a player I talk to my GM before investing in that stuff to let them know I would love it if I get to climb stuff.

The Exchange

That is what I understood. However, what was throwing me was the poster who said that in PFS (where there are no restrictions on town level etc) they were earning up to double the money by going crafting. I thought I must have been missing something obvious. This is where it looked like you needed specialty crafting, impeccable crafting, magic crafting, alchemical crafting, and master+ level


Garulo wrote:
That is what I understood. However, what was throwing me was the poster who said that in PFS (where there are no restrictions on town level etc) they were earning up to double the money by going crafting. I thought I must have been missing something obvious. This is where it looked like you needed specialty crafting, impeccable crafting, magic crafting, alchemical crafting, and master+ level

Oh, well if we're talking about pfs, then the simple answer is job availability rather than item availability. By default you can find jobs up to your character level minus 2, but you can craft things up to your character level. Some abilities change the math a bit, but those are the default assumptions for pfs iirc

The Exchange

Aw3som3-117 wrote:
Garulo wrote:
That is what I understood. However, what was throwing me was the poster who said that in PFS (where there are no restrictions on town level etc) they were earning up to double the money by going crafting. I thought I must have been missing something obvious. This is where it looked like you needed specialty crafting, impeccable crafting, magic crafting, alchemical crafting, and master+ level
Oh, well if we're talking about pfs, then the simple answer is job availability rather than item availability. By default you can find jobs up to your character level minus 2, but you can craft things up to your character level. Some abilities change the math a bit, but those are the default assumptions for pfs iirc

Yes - but there are a few boons which allow jobs at your level which was what I had questioned the double income.


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One thing I don't quite grasp is if the item availability is the thing that is solved by crafting, how does that account for needing the formula to craft things?


Milo v3 wrote:
One thing I don't quite grasp is if the item availability is the thing that is solved by crafting, how does that account for needing the formula to craft things?

Crafting is most useful for consumables or casting items. So you would buy a consumable formula in a major city during downtime, then use it where ever you are at a given time.

I would not use crafting for permanent magic items like weapons or the like. You're far better off just using earn income or waiting until you find some items in the adventure.

Crafting is situationally useful and not nearly as useful as PF1 where everyone took Craft Wondrous Item for half-price wondrous items.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Tender Tendrils wrote:

The thing with the crafting rules is that they are based on the assumption that you don't have easy/unlimited access to just buy anything you want (which is the base assumption regarding access of items of both 5e and PF2 - heck, the base assumption for 5e is that you can't buy magic items at all, with the stuff in Xanathar's guide that lists prices for magic items being an optional rule for people who really want magic item purchasing in their games).

Unfortunately, a lot of GMs and players aren't used to that idea yet (a lot of the general gaming public doesn't seem to share or understand that base assumption).

If your GM lets you just fast travel into town and buy 100 healing elixirs for their listed book price, crafting loses its value. If your GM structures the game in a different way (the town you visit only has 1d4 healing elixirs available, it takes weeks of travelling in downtime to reach a town, etc) then crafting suddenly becomes very valuable as it gives you access.

It isn't about the price difference between buying the item and crafting the item, it is about being able to guarantee that you can obtain the item in the quantities you want (or at all), without going as far out of your way.

Essentially, for crafting to work, your GM has to be running the right kind of game. (Not to say that GMs who don't run things in a certain way are wrong, they are just running it in a way that isn't conducive to crafting being valuable).

My advice is to talk to your GM/talk to your players. If the players want to have fun crafting things, the GM should consider adjusting how they handle access to items in their games to be more limited/conditional, so that the players who invest in crafting get to have their niche - players definitely need to be informed by GMs about how this stuff will work in a campaign before they make a character - I have made a lot of characters where I tried to do the crafting thing, but consistently had GMs who structured their games in a way that made crafting either...

People don’t run with item restrictions on purchasing because there’s so many essential items. If your players are level 12, they need their +2 greater striking weapon, +2 resilient armour, perception and skill items by the math. That is a ton of high level common items… but also you can’t really deny them access to those items without screwing up the math. Any settlement which stocks those items (in sufficient quantities to supply the whole party) is likely going to stock a bunch of much lower level consumables…


Milo v3 wrote:
One thing I don't quite grasp is if the item availability is the thing that is solved by crafting, how does that account for needing the formula to craft things?

I'm not entirely sure if this is what you are asking about - but...

Crafting isn't meant to be a way to bypass the rarity restrictions. If the GM doesn't want some particular item in the game, the formula for the item will also be removed from the game.

At least, that is my understanding of why formulas for items are even needed in the first place. Buying formulas for items is fairly cheap.

Item availability being solved by crafting means that when you need to restock on consumables that you used, you can craft them wherever you are (barring specific components that you need to have). You don't have to trek back to a sufficiently advanced settlement to buy the items. Camp out in the woods for a few days brewing up some new potions, elixirs, and crafting scrolls.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
Camp out in the woods for a few days brewing up some new potions, elixirs, and crafting scrolls.

That of course brings up the age old question: What exactly does a given formula for a scroll give you?

Are there 10 formulas, one for each level of spell scroll? Or are there 10 formulas PER spell that exists in the game, one for each level of each unique spell? Or perhaps something even more esoteric?


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

Crafting is most useful for consumables or casting items. So you would buy a consumable formula in a major city during downtime, then use it where ever you are at a given time.

I would not use crafting for permanent magic items like weapons or the like. You're far better off just using earn income or waiting until you find some items in the adventure.

Crafting is situationally useful and not nearly as useful as PF1 where everyone took Craft Wondrous Item for half-price wondrous items.

I suppose that is the cause of the friction then, as I have very low value for consumables as I find them too fiddly / not feeling like I have a good time to use them / hate the expensive action economy of trying to use such things in combat. So I would only desire to get permanent items to begin with, which as you say are very easy to just get in the middle of an adventure.

breithauptclan wrote:

I'm not entirely sure if this is what you are asking about - but...

Crafting isn't meant to be a way to bypass the rarity restrictions. If the GM doesn't want some particular item in the game, the formula for the item will also be removed from the game.

At least, that is my understanding of why formulas for items are even needed in the first place. Buying formulas for items is fairly cheap.

Item availability being solved by crafting means that when you need to restock on consumables that you used, you can craft them wherever you are (barring specific components that you need to have). You don't have to trek back to a sufficiently advanced settlement to buy the items. Camp out in the woods for a few days brewing up some new potions, elixirs, and crafting scrolls.

I was not discussing rarity no, but curious how characters were getting the formula for things that are apparently too high level to be available in the region.

The final paragraph of that does support the 'consumables' angle that Deriven mentions though, cementing my understanding that may be the point of my friction.


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Inventor feat.

Also some APs don't provide level appropriate settlements at key levels for potency rune upgrades, so getting them "easily" mid-adventure is imo questionable.


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voideternal wrote:

Inventor feat.

Also some APs don't provide level appropriate settlements at key levels for potency rune upgrades, so getting them "easily" mid-adventure is imo questionable.

Mid-adventure doesn't refer to 'buying things in settlements between adventuring', it means mid-adventure. Since often important enemies will have magical gear, and the books tell gms how often to distribute gear as part of the adventure.


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voideternal wrote:
Inventor feat.

Or Reverse Engineering an existing item. That doesn't require any additional feats.

And yeah, crafting your character's permanent equipment is done mostly for character flavor reasons rather than any monetary benefit.


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Inventor, and reverse engineering (the latter as said before being useful for uncommon and rare items a party wants duplicates of)

As for it being necessary for math, enemies will tend to drop appropriate gear in the required level ranges, the issues for players is how fast this happens and the lack of choice people have as to what the runes are on.

As for adventures not talking about purchasing, this is no true and settlememt blocks often mention what can be bought in settlements, and even before settlement blocks were standardised they gave advice (hermea being an example of this).

For instance Kovlar, a level 5 settlement has a unique entry that says

"City of Artisans Items of up to 8th level can be found in Kovlar, and armor and weapons of up to 12th level."

And Otari a level 4 settlement has

"Trinket Trade Otari has a long tradition of catering to adventurers, and consumable items of up to level 10 are available for sale in its shops."

As well as specific levels for shops (Wrin's Wonders is level 5 for instance)

And that is not counting that people can always leverage their reputation to get items delivered, "though it might take a bit of time for such orders to be fulfilled."

The Exchange

Always was disappointed that I could not make a magical ring crafter which was the basis of their magic by the rules and have it be anything other than a waste of feats. Not dominating Sauron type but ring mage type


Garulo wrote:
Always was disappointed that I could not make a magical ring crafter which was the basis of their magic by the rules and have it be anything other than a waste of feats. Not dominating Sauron type but ring mage type

Sounds kind-of like the new Thaumaturge class currently in development.


Garulo wrote:
Always was disappointed that I could not make a magical ring crafter which was the basis of their magic by the rules and have it be anything other than a waste of feats. Not dominating Sauron type but ring mage type

Three skill feats over 7 levels isn't a huge investment. The biggest issue you run up against is the lack of magic rings in the game atm, rather than anything to do with the crafting system.

I would probably handle it by asking my GM to let me craft wands and scrolls as rings but have them be unique in the sense that it still takes an action to "equip" them and stops that hand from being used for anything else until I "unequip" the ring or let it "drop"

Basically, no mechanical advantage (thanks to the carried/stowed/worn errata) but the flavour of wearing a bunch of magical rings.

Bolstering them with standard magical rings as more are released and or the GM allows for homebrew rings / reskinned magical items.

If the GM is less worried about balance allowing for you to auto equip without actions is another option, but that would be a pretty big advantage in the hands of a canny player.


Since Impeccable crafter has been brought up a couple of times, which Crafting Specialty would you choose to make the most of Crafting?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
voideternal wrote:
Inventor feat.

Or Reverse Engineering an existing item. That doesn't require any additional feats.

And yeah, crafting your character's permanent equipment is done mostly for character flavor reasons rather than any monetary benefit.

Reverse engineering is great for items you're going to sell anyways since--like gems, coins, and other raw resources--the leftover construction components can be sold at value.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

For instance Kovlar, a level 5 settlement has a unique entry that says

"City of Artisans Items of up to 8th level can be found in Kovlar, and armor and weapons of up to 12th level."

Afaik, for the AP in which Kovlar makes an appearance, the PCs enter the city around mid-level 12, which is about one and a half-levels after +2 armor potency runes should normally become available (level 11). Investing in crafting would grant the party access to +2 armor without toughing it out for a few levels.

Also regarding the AP featuring Hermea, the PCs enter that city at level 18, which is a whole level after apex items normally become available (level 17), so this phenomena happens at least twice.

Edit: maybe level 19 for Hermea, so actually two levels late.


I've come to realize that I need to respec or retrain out of my Crafting skills. Why? It's a City based campaign, and it's essentially the capital city.

Flavor loses out (oh! I could craft my own stuff for my own satisfaction!) when it is character feats I'm putting towards it, when I could pick other feats instead.

That's the real negative, I feel now, pouring through threads like this, and others.

The feat choice is worthless in my current campaign. There's much more other 'flavor things' I'd rather do than waste my pretend playing time going "Yup! another 23 days of doing this, and I'll have made 40 gp! Sweet, sweet gold!"

I don't want to Craft items to break WBL. I want to craft items to be as good, or better, than local businessmen, and make it not as hard to get items I think would be more fun.


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That seems to be the consensus. Crafting is pointless when you can buy, and when you can't buy then at least one PC must pay the tax for the party.


Sledge wrote:
That seems to be the consensus. Crafting is pointless when you can buy, and when you can't buy then at least one PC must pay the tax for the party.

First, the same can be said of Medicine skill too. At least one PC should pay that skill tax too.

And I don't think that the consensus is that crafting is pointless if you can buy stuff. More that crafting is not objectively better or worse as a downtime activity than any other lore skill for earning income.

Crafting as a skill is useful for adventuring generally. Repairing shields mostly. Some other uses too though - piloting alchemical vehicles and identifying construct creatures come to mind.

And yeah, there are characters and campaigns that benefit from crafting party equipment and consumables more than other characters and campaigns will.

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