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Craft this, sucka!

Craft this, sucka!

Here's the deal; I've recently switched from 3.5 to Pathfinder (no discussion about the merits of either, not the point here) and the craft system hasn't really been altered to any severe degree. So here's what I'm looking for, anyone out there that has home brewed a craft system that would work for Pathfinder or 3.5. I've been kicking around the idea of just shortening the time, changing it from silver to gold and cut all crafting time to one tenth.

Any ideas? I want crafting to be a real part of the game, but there's no way a PC is going to dedicate eight hours a day for months just to craft their own when they could just but it off the rack.

Well you could always use the Craft Point variant, found HERE.

The variant is supposed to be good for a fast-paced campaign, where events unfold too quickly for the players to be able to afford any real downtime, but I haven't used it myself. No idea how well it works in practice.

The crafting skills in many RPGs suck, this is a fact. It's simply because you're supposed to be playing as big guddamned heroes, not smiths; you don't get all those feats as a fighter just to whittle away corn-cob pipes for profit. Making this a big part of the game could be problematic in some way, but it's workable with the proper modification.

As you wrote, cutting costs to silver and reducing times to a tenth really does speed things up and could work well for some things, but what happens when I want to make ball of gold and my identical twin wants to make a ball of silver, same size and all? They'll still have their item done faster than mine, no matter how you slice it. A fix for this problem is to account for the size and type of item!

A 'medium' object in terms of crafting a weapon might be a short or longsword, something fairly simple. The larger the item to be crafted is (a greatsword), the longer it will take because reasons. But the same is only half true when looking at the opposite end; a dagger is small and should be relatively quick to make, but an intricate gem-inlaid ring will take much more time putting together than an amulet to Pelor.

Really, the only thing to do is just BS it; pull numbers out of your butt for what seems reasonable. Players won't (or shouldn't) be so anal they demand specifics so long as you generally keep the crafting times of similar items close or equal.

One area where crafting can be made of good use without changing much of anything is in the location of your characters, and how well they maintain or keep watch over their stuff. For instance, it's not uncommon for a fighter's favorite armor to become lunch for a rust monster. Now, say the party is nowhere near a town where he can just go to a shop and buy a new set of full plate armor. He could ask the local smith of the nearest thorpe to make him a new set, but the guy's become a drunken slouch. If one of your party has a proper crafting skill, well it wouldn't be a problem to find some scrap metal and have that comrade make it for you!

As well, if a party member has gem cutting as a craft, it might be of use if your wizard needs a particular gem faceted a certain way for a spell. Even if you buy the gem from a merchant, it would still be cheaper to have it cut to spec by your party member than pay extra for the merchant to do it...if even has gem-cutting as a craft.

There's always a way to make your party's crafting skills useful.

Maybe subtract the material costs from the final value, and do the crafting time done on the value-added part? That way the time is for the *crafting*, not the material.

It all comes down to realism level of the campaign. Full set of Knights Armor (full plate) was made by good dozen master smiths, and toke better part of month to be crafted in real life. Where Longsword toke few days form smith and an apprentice or two. Spears and such were easy and fast to make, and for that they should be the "basic" weapon for troops. If crafting is made "fast" that could cause pretty intresting situations, like buiding an castle for excample. .. or elemental vehicle (like those flying ships in Eberron).. I use common sense and real world equalivant on crafting times, and dont have problems. Players still want to craft, as thats the onlyway how they get the right stuffs they want. Not to mention, there are no "Ye Ol´magik Shoppes" in my games. Ever.

Honestly the easiest answer to all fantasy rpg is (and this should be bellowed like a battle cry) 'MAGIC!' remove the smith from smiting and just use Fabricate for everything.

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