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Pathfinder Magic Item Creation
Topic Started: Jun 9 2012, 04:11 PM (4,297 Views)
Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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Quote:
 
To create magic items, spellcasters use special feats which allow them to invest time and money in an item's creation. At the end of this process, the spellcaster must make a single skill check (usually Spellcraft, but sometimes another skill) to finish the item. If an item type has multiple possible skills, you choose which skill to make the check with. The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item. Failing this check means that the item does not function and the materials and time are wasted. Failing this check by 5 or more results in a cursed item.

Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item's creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed). The DC to create a magic item increases by 5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet. The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory. In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting its prerequisites.


Translation: you can make an item using the Craft Wonderous, Craft Arms and Armour, Craft Weapons, or Craft Rings feats, without having the necessary spells available. Specifically does not work for making scrolls, wands, staves or potions (although I think some weapons/wonderous items may fall into the spell trigger category).

So, for example, a 3rd level cleric wants to create a Handy Haversack (CL9) with Create Wonderous Item. The DC check would require a Spellcraft check DC 5 + CL9 = 14. A Handy Haversack requires Secret Chest, a 5th level arcane spell. The 3rd level cleric can still make the Haversack, but instead the Spellcraft check is DC 15 + CL9 = 24.

Now, that's a fair bit tougher, to be sure. A 3rd level cleric might only have a +6 or +7 bonus on spellcraft, requiring a favorable roll to be successful. Else, half the cost of the item is wasted.

Interestingly, Pathfinder allows non-magic users to build magical items with the Master Craftsman feat. It gives a +2 bonus on a chosen craft skill, and ranks in that skill count as caster level for purposes of qualifying for feats. You can then make the magical items, incurring the +5 DC for missing pre-reqs.

But suppose you had a clever gnomish fighter. Gnomes get a +2 racial bonus on a craft or profession skill. Pick blacksmithing. Master craftsman confers another +2 bonus on the skill. And lets say an Int of 12 gives you +5 bonus at 1st level. It's a trained skill for +3, she puts in ranks every level until 6th, when she qualifies to take Craft Arms and Armour. That's 6 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 = +14 on the craft check.

She decides to make a +3 sword. It doesn't require specific spells, but at CL 6 (6 ranks) she won't meet the 3x bonus pre-requisite. The DC to make the +3 sword is 10 + 9 = 19. So you need to roll a 5 or better to succeed on making a +3 weapon at 6th level. Awesome.

I mean, you still need to come up with 9,000 gold and a masterwork weapon to make this happen. So it's still never happening in a stingy LGM campaign, at least according to the stories his players tell. ;)
I belatedly noticed a catch - Master Craftsman requires 5 ranks in a skill. My brain made that a 3.5 requirement, so 2nd level; but in Pathfinder, 5 ranks means 5th level. So the soonest a fighter can get Craft Armour or Craft Wonderous is 9th level. That's a little more reasonable. Gives the sorcerous types a brief period of crafting before the non-magical types get involved.
Edited by Benevolance, Jun 9 2012, 05:14 PM.
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The Nighthawk
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Bugbear
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I like this a lot. It makes sense of the Tolkien tradition of master craftsmen making magical items such as Anduril or the Rings of Power. In D&D terms, it gives credence to Elven and Dwarven master smiths making incredible weapons and armour. Very cool.
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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Besides non-casters being able to create magic items, I'm not seeing any difference except it's harder to create magic items in PF. What am I missing?

Casters could always create magic items without meeting prerequisites by tossing a bit of gold at a craftsman or NPC spellcaster. Most 3e games seem to play with access to magic item shops, high level NPC casters and craftsmen. At the level you wanted the items, you have the gold to burn because there's no other aspect of PC economy in the game.

My group just didn't appreciate the 2e style of "you'll get it when it pleases me" treasure parcels. The game stuttered along when they were getting followers, birthing half dragons and other story stuff that money could have been dumped on. Didn't focus on the 2e style enough to make up for lessened treasure which is on me but PCs glowing like christmas trees still doesn't have any appeal for myself. Definitely not helping any Tolkien, Conan, Elric or other style. It does its on tropes excellently though.
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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I'm okay without all the items except we were still going up against monsters balanced with the assumption we had all that bling.
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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I didn't balance an encounter since before 3.5 came out :D

No one ever talks about the pushover encounters but they always remember when they barely survive or had to flee... It was full old d&d style courtesy of d20. Doesn't work with walking magic stores :)
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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We remember the easy ones. There was that time... no wait, I almost died. But there was the encounter where... no, Korg imploded. Well, there's always the game when we fought... Oops, Auduma's soul got destroyed.

You're right, I can't seem to recall any easy ones.

But, lest you feel unappreciated, I want to say now in front of whomever may read this thread that we do appreciate you DM'ing all these years. I kid around about stuff but you've always provided an interesting gaming session. I raise a glass to you sir, may your Saturday night games continue for many more years (until Gorefist takes over the mantle for you, at which time you can bemoan how much better DnD 3e was than 14e.
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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The victories over brutally powerful enemies are so much sweeter!

Quote:
 
It makes sense of the Tolkien tradition of master craftsmen making magical items such as Anduril or the Rings of Power. In D&D terms, it gives credence to Elven and Dwarven master smiths making incredible weapons and armour.


I think it's a really cool idea for D&D but I'm seeing it as more proliferation of magic items within the party. From the point of view of storytelling, it's fantastic. For the game, it's power creep especially since skills are so easily manipulated to reach high DCs. I wonder if you examine other aspects that you would see a similar design problem cropping up.
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Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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Okay, there were a few points you made for me to address.

Crafting shouldn't be more difficult in Pathfinder vs 3e. In 3e you had to meet all of the pre-reqs. Case closed. And you had the additional XP costs, which served to discourage party crafting.

For a spellcaster that meets the pre-reqs, the DCs are automatic successes. Making a Pearl of Power II (CL3) = DC 8. Trained in spellcraft, your ranks at 3rd level give you a +6. With an Int of 12 or higher, you'd need a roll of 1 or better on the d20 to craft the Wonderous Item. Simple.

As for access to NPCs/craftsmen in 3e, that's going to depend on the campaign and whether the DM was using the value caps and availability rules written in the DMG. So, that's not really a rules issue, but a group/DM play-style issue.

Regarding proliferation and power creep, there are still two hard caps: time and wealth. Regarding wealth, you can't make something if you don't have the wealth for input materials.

I believe that Pathfinder uses the same 50% rule for items as 3e. So if you get a 12,000 gold Belt of Dwarvenkind in loot, you can sell it for 6,000 gold. If you are a party without crafting, you can basically trade a high value item for one of lesser value (but possibly more use). A party with crafting can instead swap the Belt for crafting materials, and then build an item worth 12,000 gold. In essence, the party is being reward for their choice of non-combat feats, which I think is good.

Which brings us to the second limitation: time. The party in the second option needs 12 days to build the item. There is no way to hasten the process. All a DM needs to do is put in some time-sensitive quests. Leave enough time for the PCs to do some crafting, but not so much they can do everything. It forces the PCs to prioritize. But again - that's a DM/group play-style decision.

From my own experience: I handed out roughly 50% more wealth to my Steampunk group than the book suggests, in addition to a few other (but expensive) plot items, like airships, a castle, sustaining spoons and house golems. The magical gear I gave them was not random - it was custom tailored to their abilities to kick ass, and included frequent bouts of curatives. They had access to engineers and craftsman that built stuff for them while they were away (at full book cost) and access to labs to make the stuff themselves if they had the appropriate feats (for the half cost) when they were home.

I never, ever had difficulty challenging them. And they had more near TPKs with the magical gear than without. Which is another way to say, I don't buy into the power creep argument very much.
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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My mention of power creep is due to the lack of good, written guidance. You know the system better than anyone so regardless of real power creep, its a non-issue for anyone very competent. D20 isn't Palladium where it relies heavily on DMs to contain bloat and character usefulness. I think the majority of complaints about 3e could have been easily "fixed" with simple examples and text in 3.5 dmg. A behind the curtain form of DM advice.

It does open up crafting to rogues which is what I was wondering if one could spare points to spam crafting. An average or new dm could get beaten around by certain types of players.

My problem lately is thinking in too broad of terms of game design and not just registering how cool this is instead. I need to put my gamer hat back on again or ill be coming across as a contrary ass too much once again :)
Edited by lgm, Jun 12 2012, 02:06 PM.
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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Is anyone thinking of playing a warlock in you PF campaign? If so, [how] will you compensate them for nullifying one of their class abilities? Genuinely curious.
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Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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There are no warlocks in Pathfinder, so...?
Quote:
 
It does open up crafting to rogues which is what I was wondering if one could spare points to spam crafting.


Oh, I see. No, that doesn't work, but I didn't really spell out clearly why in the original post.

Master Craftsman requires 5 ranks in a craft skill. When you take it, you choose a single Craft skill that you have 5 ranks in. From that point forward, you can use that Craft Skill to create magical equipment.

BUT

You still have to take the Craft Arms and Armour or Craft Wonderous Items feats to make anything magical. Taking Master Craftsman simply waives the caster level requirements necessary to select those feats.

At that point, the Master Craftsman uses his Craft check as his caster level when making magical equipment, instead of spellcraft. The DC will usually be higher for the Master Craftsman than for a comparable spellcaster.

Extra skill points won't make a difference in this instance. Pathfinder doesn't have any synergy bonuses, so characters are basically limited to 1 rank per level, +3 bonus for a class skill, and +X for attribute. A feat like Skill Focus would make the Craft check easier, though.
Edited by Benevolance, Jun 12 2012, 05:27 PM.
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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They did a good job on it. There's no harm in stepping on caster power in 3e!

If there were warlocks in PF, I'm not seeing how their taking 10 on UMD is overshadowed at all, Andrul. Unless I'm forgetting something about the class?
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Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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In that vein, I think my most favoritist feat is the combat feat that lets shield-bearers reflect rays and ranged touch spells back at enemy casters. :)

Doesn't work on fireballs or other area effects, of course, but any fighter worth his salt (and perhaps with appropriate crafting feats!) should be more or less immune to fireballs. More importantly, they should be employing my Necklace of Fireballs chain-damage tactic!
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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I forget when, but you did say once a long time ago that any 3e class could be run in PF.

LGM, ...
Quote:
 
]Imbue Item (Su): A warlock of 12th level or higher can
use his supernatural power to create magic items, even If he
does not know the spells required to make an item (although
he must know the appropriate item creation feat), He can
substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for
arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of
a required spell he doesn't know or can't cast.
If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if
he had cast the required spell. If he fails , he can not complete
the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making
the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this
Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new
level.


Huh, I decided to do a bit of searching on the Warlock. Seems the most common opinion is folks hate the invocations I found most useful which were Stony Grasp and Hungry Darkness. I guess they wanted a flashier PC. Or maybe they failed to remember the Swift Concentration skill trick in Complete Scoundrel.
Edited by Andrul, Jun 12 2012, 09:55 PM.
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Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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I probably said most 3e stuff can be converted to Pathfinder fairly easily. But Pathfinder wasn't designed to necessarily be compatible with 3e, especially the 3e splat book materials. A lot of the 3e stuff has to be stepped up a bit to be comparable.

In this case, since the basic Pathfinder item creation for casters already allows what the warlock gets as a 12th level ability, you'd probably have to give the class something else. Maybe allow them to ignore the increased DC due to spell pre-reqs with a successful UMD? I don't know. I'll give it more thought if I ever have a player that wants to play a warlock. :D

That would have been a pretty good ability in 3e, though.
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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Yeah, which is why it really sucked that my Warlock died. Just after reaching level 12 which is when he got the ability.
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Benevolance
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Tarrasque
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Addendum: Nighthawk pointed out that Pathfinder, by default, awards regular advancement feats at all odd levels. So a character can, in fact, qualify for this feat at 5th level and take Craft Arms and Armour at 7th.

Additionally, the feat specifies that the character has to use the selected Craft or Profession for the skill check, not that the item has to be made soley with said Craft or Profession (although for RP purposes, I'd argue it should in some way be included).

Which brings us to my personal pet project: the three sword fighter. Previouly, in 3.5, it required either DM support or the Kensai class. Master Craftsman eliminates the need for either.

Sadly, since Pathfinder currently lacks the Oversized TWF feat, you'd have to do this with light weapons (to maximize damage synergy) but you can do this in the heaviest frickin' armour imaginable. For our purposes, the character will take ranks in Craft (alchemy) because he is going to use poisons for bonus effect, and dual-wield kukris for high crit threats.

To 9th level:

8 levels of fighter bonus feats: Weapon focus (kukri), TWF, Weapon specialization (kukri), improved TWF, improved critical. Regular advancement feats: Double slice (full damage off-hand), Master alchemist (+2 craft, no 10x cost on creation time), Master craftsman (+2 craft, ranks as spellcaster level), Craft Arms and Armour, Craft Wonderous. Fighter abilities: Armour training 2 (full move in heavy armour), Weapon training 2 (+2 atk/dmg light sword, +1 another category). Racial: optionally, select human for race and skill focus (alchemy) as your bonus feat.

At 7th level, you begin adding bonus attack and damage to your kukri. Ultimately, you will make a dancing kukri for the fighter, which will cost you 25,000 gold, and take 50 days to craft. The Craft check for the fighter is DC 25, which at 7th level means a 7 or better is required for the human fighter to succeed, assuming an Int bonus of +1. At 9th level, you begin crafting wonderous items to bolster your AC and attributes.

At 9th level (with a dancing kukri completed) you'll attack at +14/+14/+14/+9/+9/+9 and inflict 1d4+8 dmg plus poison, assuming +1 magical kukris.
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The Nighthawk
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Bugbear
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Once I kill off your Dominatrix, this abberation is making its way into the campaign, isn't it?
Edited by The Nighthawk, Jun 24 2012, 03:14 PM.
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Benevolance
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This is a likely candidate. Although, now LGM has me wanting to build a shield maiden hip hop artist formerly known as D Fizzel K, but now represented by the Symbol "explosive runes". I would take cc ranks in Perform (hip hop) to make that happen.
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Andrul
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Ancient Wyrm
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Heh, that would go good with a bard using the sonic reserve feat. Describe the sonic attack as her getting in your face and blasting you with her withering rap.
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Benevolance
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Okay, second idea!

Instead of spending the 25,000 gold on a dancing weapon, spend it on a Sun blade. It is a bastard sword, wielded with the ease of a short sword. With Exotic Proficiency (Bastard Sword) in the mix, and taking WF/WS on the bastard sword, you'd dual wield 1d10 swords with a -2 penalty on attacks, and also have the versatility of being able to 2-hand your primary weapon for extra damage against harder-to-hit or DR/ opponents.

It's an expensive way to get around the lack of an Oversized TWF feat, but it's totally legit!

Plus - and this is why you guys pay me the big bucks - an Aasimar fighter meets all the construction pre-reqs for the Sun Blade except CL, meaning that the Craft DC is 20. At 10th level (with 10 ranks in Craft), the DC drops to 15 - or, automatic success.

You'd lose out on Skill focus (alchemy) and would drop Master Alchemist (hard to rationalize good people poisoning others) in favor of Exotic proficiency (bastard sword).
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lgm
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Demogorgon
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The next challenge is figuring out how to dual wield a sun blade and have a third dancing bastard sword.
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Benevolance
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That's easy: make a second Sun Blade and a dancing bastard sword.

Okay, the real limitation is that it's kind of expensive and the number of days required to build these items. 50 days for the first Sun Blade, 50 days for the second Sun Blade, 50 days for a +1 dancing Bastard sword. And about 75,000 gold in materials to make all three.

Checking the wealth by level...realistically, it's around 15th level that you could expect to tri-wield two sun blades and a dancing bastard sword.

But you could make it a little easier on yourself. A sun blade for the off-hand, a dancing bastard sword for your teeth, and a regular enchanted bastard sword for the primary hand (starting at +1 and adding enchantments as you go). Still cost you the same in the end, but the cost is spread out over more levels and you are good to go sooner.
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