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Author Topic: Help with Crafting(and why it sucks) in DnD (v. 3.5)  (Read 16697 times)
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kelsar56
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« on: September 06, 2010, 01:31:00 PM »

Read the first and last last two paragraphs of this if you don't feel like reading the entire proof. Also tell me if you want me to clarify something.  I have posted this on a different board, but someone directed me here for better information so I will post this here to see if anyone gets a laugh out of it or has any good ideas for rules on the matter either way leave a post.

Alright so I was playing D&D a yesterday and I ran into this problem. I have been looking into crafting in dungeons and dragons a little bit. I would like to make poisons. I know that some of the books like vile darkness and libris mortis go into a little more detail with crafting poisons, but just going off of the description of the crafting skill in the players handbook and the cost of poisons in the dungeon masters guide. It seems to me like trying to craft any poison worth wild is almost impossible. Let me explain.

When you craft you multiply the result on your craft check by the DC of the craft check. This number is the progress in silver pieces that you have made in one week out of the total price of the item. You can also do it day to day and have the result be in copper pieces, however doing this would not affect the time because in the forgotten realms a week is considered 10 days. Due to the fact the price is dropping by a factor of 10 and the number of times to work on it would be increased to 10. Thus there is no point it doing this to try and increase it from day to day as it only allows you to finish a craft that is almost complete. On the other hand you may also willingly add a single +10 to the DC thus decreasing the time it takes to smith an item.

Alright to my point. I have done the math on trying to make for example a masterwork full blade. The price of this item is 400 gold. I would assume your average smith could make it in say 5-7 days while working on other weapons at the same time. However this is not the case going off the crafting rules to make this item in 1 week if he takes a +10 to his DC and if he rolls a natural 20 on his die with say a +20 craft check cause hes a bad ass smith. This would give him a 40(20 for the die roll and +20 for his skill) x 30(DC of 20 for masterwork + 10). Meaning he would make 1200 sp worth of progress or in other words 120 gp. 120gp out of the 400 gp required to make the item.

The problem I see here is that if he rolled all 20s with a skill check of +20 it would still take the smith a little over 3 weeks to make a single masterwork full blade. OVER 3 WEEKS WITH THOSE STATS! That is insane. I understand they don't want to make it too overpowered for players trying to make money, but who has a +20 on their skill rolls 3 20s in a row and still doesn't have a masterwork item made.

I decided to look at this another way. I looked up the stats of Gond in the forgotten realms he is the god of smithing his title is "Wonderbringer, Lord of all Smiths". Surely he could craft a single masterwork full blade in less than a day. I did the math. His skill is +112 to his craft weapons. So if he increased the DC by +10 and one of his abilities is he always rolls 20 on checks. So his result on a DC 30 would be 132. I would assume the item would be made in no time, but (132 x 30) that is 3960 sp worth of progress. That is 396 gp worth of progress in a full week on a single masterwork full blade.

Ignoring the fact that Gond (the forgotten realms god of smithing) can create any magic item of 200,000 gp or less instantly. I think this needs to be stated. THE ****ING GOD OF SMITHING CAN'T FINISH A SINGLE MASTERWORK FULL BLADE IN AN ENTIRE WEEK OF WORK.

Unless I'm confused on the rules or something can someone please explain this. Also if anyone knows any nice house rules or anything to direct me to for crafting it would help out a lot. Thank you.
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The_Mad_Linguist
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 02:21:57 PM »

You can increase the DC by as many +10s as you want, which makes it scale as the square of your skill.
So 131*130 = 17030.  That's like making five full wagons in a day.

That said, crafting sucks.  There's a reason the fabricate spell is so good.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 02:26:57 PM by The_Mad_Linguist » Logged

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kelsar56
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 08:30:03 PM »

Thanks for your response umm...

I'm looking up in the players handbook about the +10 to the DC thing

"You may voluntarily add +10 to the indicated DC to craft an item.  This allows you to create the item more quickly (since you'll be multiplying this higher DC by your Craft check result to determine progress).  You must decide whether to increase the DC before you make each weekly or daily check."

Unless I'm missing it I don't see where it says about being able to stack it, but that isn't the point it would still take your average crafter like a couple months to make anything good.  Either way if you have anything less than like a +80 to your check its going to take a long time to make anything is my point.
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The_Mad_Linguist
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 09:33:24 PM »

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/skills.htm#craft
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wotmaniac
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 09:45:40 PM »

as annoying as it may be, crafting times aren't really that unreasonable, as a RL analog.

for example, lets take a katana:
it's known that it could take 1-1.5 years to craft a proper katana.
with a 20 craft DC, and a 20 check, that's 40gp/week (i.e., 400sp),
even at the slower "per day" rate, that's 4gp/day.
a masterwork bastard sword (i.e., a katana) is 335gp.
335/4 = ~84 days = 12 weeks = 3 months.

since we know that it often took over a year to craft a "proper" katana, you're D&D crafting time is actually a bargain.

sure, regular swords could be knocked-out fairly quickly (the math is pretty simple) ; but, when your talking about "masterwork", without the conveniences of modern technology, it could take several months.

for further reading:
HERE
HERE

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Bauglir
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 10:07:30 PM »

Yeah, I think the problem is that easy stuff is too hard and hard stuff is too easy, if you want to look at actual crafting times; an average smith probably shouldn't be able to make a masterwork item at ALL (otherwise it's not exactly a master's work, is it?), and it should probably take something on the order of a year for somebody of human ability. The scaling problem is that you need to make it easier to increase speed by increasing the DC (to allow creatures of phenomenal skill to make things spectacularly fast), you need to make it take less time for low DC objects (so that it doesn't take a week to make 5 spoons), and you need to make the base amount of time for a high DC item longer so that your local smith (Expert 1 with 4 ranks, Int 12, Skill Focus (Craft), and a Masterwork Hammer he inherited from his father, for a total bonus of +10) can't churn out a Masterwork Spiked Chain by taking 10 for 2 months (20x20 for the result per week, 3000/400 = 7.5, plus 250/(18x20) for a total of 8.1 something weeks).

EDIT: Assuming a Craft DC of 10 for a banquet and the minimum skill to do it, it takes a full week to cook a single serving of a banquet; this suggests that cooking staff must equal or outnumber guests in order to get the work done before the food is completely rotten. This seems unreasonable.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 10:11:22 PM by Bauglir » Logged

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kelsar56
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 11:26:51 PM »

again thank you very much for your responses and for your clarification on the rules The_Mad_Linguist, sorry it took me so long to respond I fell asleep, trying to get accustomed to working the night shift...anyway

ya I was just crunching some numbers real quick I mean for my uses I was planning on making poisons most of the ones in the DMG don't give DCs, but assuming you would need to roll a like DC 25 with poison making to make Terinav Root poison (Contact DC 16 Initial 1d6 Dex Secondary 2d6 Dex) with a price of 750g.  My level 6 has a +12 to the skill after modifiers, but has almost no hope of ever having enough time to make 1 does of this item.  I think it turned out to be like a full month and a half to make one dose of the stuff rolling 20s.

That's the type of thing that gets me.  I have basically wasted the points in the skill because while I can make a decent DC to make items I will almost never be able to complete these things with the adventures going on and our limited time to stop in cities.

I was exploring the idea of for say poisons multiplying the DC by say 5-10 and that would be the amount of time it would take to make it.  The DC would be a one time thing and if you fail the ingredients (1/3 base cost) are destroyed, but if you pass you complete the poison in that time.  What do you guys think about that solution?  My guessing on this time comes from my college chem class.  Anything we ever did in there took at most 2 hours, considering the labs were developed to take that long and that we would have had much better equipment.

I'm reading over some of that material you guys linked at the moment so if I think of anything else to add I will just edit this post
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 11:40:19 PM by kelsar56 » Logged
The_Mad_Linguist
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 12:29:31 AM »

Poisonmaking is unique among craft skills in that your base production is gold rather than silver (and the by-day production is in silver rather than copper).
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kelsar56
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 12:38:39 AM »

ahhh...  I see.  That would make a little more sense.  Even so though I'm looking at taking like 2 weeks approx. without doing the math to finish 1 dose of poison.  Does that seem reasonable?
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Bauglir
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 12:49:25 AM »

Proposed Revision:

Item cost is no longer relevant to crafting time. Although it makes sense that you should have to spend longer crafting an item of higher quality, that's only relevant within items; a Spyglass, while difficult and involved to make from raw materials (particularly grinding the lens), probably should not take longer to make than 3 Masterwork Chain Shirts. Instead, we're going to have crafting time be a function of DC; the more intricate and difficult it is to make an item, the longer it takes. We're also going to have to have different time scales for different crafting skills; it's simply not feasible to measure Craft (Cooking) on the same scale as Craft (Armorsmithing).

Here's how it works: each band of 5 DC has different units. To get the base crafting time, start with the amount the DC is above the highest number in the lower band (so, for instance, 6 is one higher than 5, and 1 is 1 higher than 0), and multiply the result by the units. Each unit should be larger than the entire span of the previous scale. So, for metalworking:

DC: Unit (Example)
-19--15: 1 second (Failing To Open the Door to your Forge)
-14--10: 10 seconds (The Pants You're Wearing, On Fire)
-9--5: 1 minute (Warm Bits of Iron)
-4-0: 10 minutes (Chunks of slag)
1-5: Hours (Simple, small objects, such as spoons)
6-10: 6 Hours (Larger simple items, such a low-quality longsword)
11-15: 2 Days (Time-consuming, but not particularly challenging work for somebody trained, such as chainmail)
16-20: 12 Days (Difficult, highly involved work that any well-trained smith can accomplish reliably, such as full plate)
21-25: 72 Days (Extremely challenging work, approaching the limits of mortal skill; the life's work of an ordinary smith, such as a masterwork weapon)
26-30: 1 Year (Legendary work, challenging even for a master smith, perhaps a gift forged for a deity of battle)
31-35: 10 Years (History-making items, such as those further enchanted to become artifacts)
36+: For each increment, multiply previous value by 10. Such items become defining parts of a civilization's history.

Keep the same scale, just shift it up or down some steps depending on the craft in question. Certain materials, such as Adamantine, can shift the scale upward due to the difficulty of working them. Adding +10 to the DC of a given item allows a character to treat the item as though it were one band lower. I'm not sure about the rubric here, but a deity of the forge should be spewing forth masterwork swords when he belches. (He can start with a DC 25 Masterwork Longsword and add +80 to the DC, shifting it downward to a 5 second crafting time, making it take less than a round)

EDIT: Incidentally, a sword-based breath weapon needs to be a special attack on any deity of the forge printed henceforth.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 12:51:30 AM by Bauglir » Logged

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Bortasz
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 09:49:41 AM »

Hmm Will it be more simple just say that you progres in Silver is made on the day base not the Week? It will accelerate Production 10 times in Faeurun. In cooper is per houre, if you are willing work 12 houers that you will also accelerate production.
For my money that make more sense.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 10:01:13 AM »

as annoying as it may be, crafting times aren't really that unreasonable, as a RL analog.

for example, lets take a katana:
it's known that it could take 1-1.5 years to craft a proper katana.
with a 20 craft DC, and a 20 check, that's 40gp/week (i.e., 400sp),
even at the slower "per day" rate, that's 4gp/day.
a masterwork bastard sword (i.e., a katana) is 335gp.
335/4 = ~84 days = 12 weeks = 3 months.

since we know that it often took over a year to craft a "proper" katana, you're D&D crafting time is actually a bargain.

sure, regular swords could be knocked-out fairly quickly (the math is pretty simple) ; but, when your talking about "masterwork", without the conveniences of modern technology, it could take several months.

for further reading:
HERE
HERE



It took year with the methods available to Feudal Japanese smiths. There's no need for half that crap anymore. Even less of it is necessary if you just start with better steel than the Japanese had (Which isn't that hard considering that Japan had horrible natural resources from the start... unless you want fish).
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veekie
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2011, 10:09:55 AM »

Well, if only Craft skill ranks changed the base unit cost you work with eh.
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 08:17:14 PM »

I, too, have a real problem with crafting in D&D 3.5.  In my case it's smithing weapons.  Real time versus game time has been brought up, as was the Japanese katana (the usual weapon brought up).  But since I have some experience with real-world "crafting" as well as game time, it just seems totally unrealistic to me.  Using tools not that different from those used in the medieval period, I can craft a forged knife in about a day's work.  Following the rules in the PHB and DMG, assuming a median roll of 10 on the die with no skill modifiers (not likely, but just to be completely average), I would only barely cover the cost in silver pieces (the way you determine if you complete a piece in a week).  So, yes, a basic dagger would therefore supposedly take someone a week of working on nothing else to complete.  Even with no skill someone could complete a simple knife in much less time with only a little direction from someone who knew what they were doing.

Another problem I have with the crafting system is that it doesn't seem to take into account things like spears, bows, arrows, and other weapons that include a combination of metal and wood, or just wood.  Just because someone is a master sword-smith doesn't mean they'd be able to pick up slabs of wood and craft a composite bow, but it's all covered under the same skill.  It should also be a snap to whip up a bunch of arrowheads to give to the ranger in my party for him to affix to his existing arrow shafts, or pump out a couple spearheads for someone to tie onto a staff, but no rules exist for that.

The largest problem isn't the lack of clarifying rules for crafting, or placing them within the framework of realistic abilities, but the way that they are so difficult to work into a campaign.  Most adventures consist, by definition, of being on the move.  Whether it's traveling to a destination to investigate a rumor or simply being engaged in combat, the characters aren't exactly going to be able to spend enough time to build (or even borrow) a forge long enough to craft most weapons to make it worth while.  Really the only way that you can use the crafting skills is if the DM will allow you the off-table game time to do it.  If you'll stay in a town for a couple weeks which won't be played in-game, and your DM will allow you to make all your rolls and stuff at home (or spend lots of time with you while you do them in front of him with all the math) then it's pretty much impossible to craft up anything much more useful than a wooden spoon (DC 5, incidentally).

Crafting could be a wonderful build for a character, whether it's just as a background element or an in-game usefulness.  Who wouldn't love to have access to heavily discounted and virtually unlimited scrolls, potions, or high-grade weapons and armor, delivered at lower levels than you could probably afford or find them?  It seems that the idea of crafting was thrown as a bone to those who are more heavily into role-playing and long campaigns, but only as an afterthought.  It's a broken system, there's no doubt about it, and it's far too confusing and time-consuming (not to mention unrealistic) for the general gamer to even bother with.  Which is really a pity.

Now, for those who want to work on crafting anyway (in 3.5E), check out DMG 282-288 (creating magic and masterwork items), PHB 70-71 "Craft" for basic crafting rules and a table.  A quick recap on the basics of crafting can be found at: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/SRD:Craft_Skill.  I hope this helps anyone else who has questions about crafting.  Ultimately you have to work with your DM when it comes to crafting, and maybe come up with some house rules to make it work easier and fit better into your gameplay.
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veekie
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 01:48:25 AM »

Yeah, using the rules as written, making even enough basic swords to outfit an army is a herculean task, you'd need more smiths than soldiers at that rate.

Theres also an issue of craft quality, but I suppose magic took that role. Theres only "Good" and "sorta OK", while craftsmanship ranges much wider. As well, theres such a thing as 'perfect tool', most refinements are a give and take matter. You trade blade strength for a better cutting edge, or rebalance for better slashing at the cost of being harder to block with.
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The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."
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