A Troubled Economy
Quintessential CraftingMagic item crafting in Pathfinder leaves a lot of detail out. Essentially, you hit a stack of gold coins with a magic hammer and take your ring of three wishes. This aims to add some nuance to the crafting process so as not to break immersion.
1. Crafting materials
Crafting shall require materials specifically made for magic items. Instead of a straight gold cost, these materials will be required in lieu of gold. (The end value will still be the same as listed, half the market cost which the remainder is assumed to be the physical labor and magical energy expended by the creator.) These materials are required on top of the base item and spell components. (ie. gloves, headband, ring; fine sand, bat guano, etc.) The type of magic item material needed is determined by the spell needed to create the item. If both a divine and arcane spell is required, then either (or both) type can be used.
Chipped Arcane Gem 5g
Flawed Arcane Gem 25g
Arcane Gem 100g
Great Arcane Gem 1000g
Flawless Arcane Gem 5000g
Perfect Arcane Gem 10,000g
Exquisite Arcane Gem 50,000g
Mystra’s Tear 100,000g
Chipped Divine Gem 5g
Flawed Divine Gem 25g
Divine Gem 100g
Great Divine Gem 1000g
Flawless Divine Gem 5000g
Perfect Divine Gem 10,000g
Exquisite Divine Gem 50,000g
Blood of Lathander 100,000g
When creating an item, the creator must have at least one of the highest-value materials (or greater). The remaining cost can be made up of any combination that meets (or exceeds) the material cost. In the case of an item having both types of spell, the high-value material must match the higher-level spell. If the spells are the same level, the high-value material can be either Arcane or Divine.
The Grim Lantern has a creation cost of 2900. The spell required to create is arcane. Therefore, the creator must have at least one Great Arcane Gem or higher. The remaining 1900 can be made up of any combination of Arcane materials. The creator could also use a single Flawless Arcane Gem and meet the requirements. In this case, the excess material value is wasted and not recoverable.
These new materials are still restricted by a town’s economy, and may not be available in all towns.
2. Rules and limitations.
Pathfinder rules-as-written say you can create any magic item as long as you have the corresponding feat. Each requirement that you do not meet adds an additional +5 DC. This would, theoretically, allow low-level casters to create items way beyond their means as long as they had the funds for it. These additional rules serve to keep balance.
2a. Caster LevelThe caster level requirement listed in an item’s requirements can still be replaced with a +5 DC. However, there is a hard requirement that the creator must be able to cast the same level of spells as the one required to make the item.
Creating a Belt of Giant Strength: the creator must be high enough level to cast the Bull’s Strength spell, ie. a 3rd level wizard. A 3rd level wizard who does not have the Bull’s Strength spell can still create the belt, but takes a +5 DC penalty. A 2nd level wizard is unable to create the belt.
2b. Caster Type
Furthermore, the caster must be able to cast the same type of spells. Meaning a 3rd level Cleric would not be able to make the Belt of Giant Strength without having the spell provided by a scroll or other source due to not having natural access to Arcane magic.
2c. InterruptionsWhile adventuring, a crafter may make two hours of progress per day by spending four hours of work on an item. These four hours are spent during meal times, rest periods, and night watches. If a crafter is violently interrupted (during a night watch, for example), they must immediately make a Spellcraft check equal to 5 + the item’s Caster Level + the damage taken. If the check fails, the crafter has made a mistake on the item and the DC of the final check to complete the item increases by +5. This penalty is permanent until the crafter begins work on a different item. They also lose that day’s progress on the item.
If a crafter is non-violently interrupted (Making a successful perception check to detect an enemy, for example) then there is no DC penalty, but the crafter loses their progress for that day.
2d. Opposing schools/domainsA magic item that requires a spell from an opposing Arcane school or Divine domain incurs a flat +5 DC to the Spellcraft check to make the item. If a crafter has a banned school/domain of spells, they cannot create the item without someone else casting the spell for them. A scroll would similarly need to be cast by a second party to work.
2e. Inclement conditionsIn the event a crafter intends to craft while under extreme circumstances, a Spellcraft check must be made at the end of the day to see if any progress could be made. A failed check by 5 or less results in no progress made. Failing by 5 or more results in a mistake being made and the final DC increasing by +5 as well as no progress being made. The conditions are at DM’s discretion and can be found listed below:
Uncomfortable conditions – trying to craft in rain, light snow, or with no suitable place to perform the crafting. Spellcraft DC 15 + item’s CL*2.
Impeding conditions – Heavy snowfall, constant loud noises, shifting terrain, hunger, thirst, poisoned, or diseased, up to 5 points of ability score damage. Spellcraft DC 20 + item’s CL*2.
Extreme conditions – Underdark, alternate planes, massive illusions, extreme psychological stress, missing limbs, more than 5 points of ability score damage. Spellcraft DC 25 + item’s CL*2. Must spend at least three days acclimating before any progress can be made.