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Crafting Items 3.5 advice
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Thread: Crafting Items 3.5 advice

  1. #1
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    Post Crafting Items 3.5 advice

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    Well I have a problem so I'll appeal to the greater knowledge of my peers to assist me in making a ruling.

    I'm currently running a game set in the Scarred Lands. One of my players (playing a paladin) is going for a setting specific prestige class, called the Mithril Knight. One of the things this class gets is the ability to forge a magical mithril longsword without spending either gold or experience to do so.

    The problem comes in when making the calculations for figuring out the amount of time it'll take for her character to forge this blade in game.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD


    To determine how much time and money it takes to make an item, follow these steps.
    1. Find the item’s price. Put the price in silver pieces (1 gp = 10 sp).
    2. Find the DC from the table below.
    3. Pay one-third of the item’s price for the cost of raw materials.
    4. Make an appropriate Craft check representing one week’s work. If the check succeeds, multiply your check result by the DC. If the result × the DC equals the price of the item in sp, then you have completed the item. (If the result × the DC equals double or triple the price of the item in silver pieces, then you’ve completed the task in one-half or one-third of the time. Other multiples of the DC reduce the time in the same manner.) If the result × the DC doesn’t equal the price, then it represents the progress you’ve made this week. Record the result and make a new Craft check for the next week. Each week, you make more progress until your total reaches the price of the item in silver pieces.
    If you fail a check by 4 or less, you make no progress this week.
    If you fail by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Mithral: Mithral is a very rare silvery, glistening metal that is lighter than iron but just as hard. When worked like steel, it becomes a wonderful material from which to create armor and is occasionally used for other items as well. Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. Spell failure chances for armors and shields made from mithral are decreased by 10%, maximum Dexterity bonus is increased by 2, and armor check penalties are lessened by 3 (to a minimum of 0).
    An item made from mithral weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals. In the case of weapons, this lighter weight does not change a weapon’s size category or the ease with which it can be wielded (whether it is light, one-handed, or two-handed). Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of mithral. (A longsword can be a mithral weapon, while a scythe cannot be.)
    Weapons or armors fashioned from mithral are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.
    Mithral has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.
    Type of Mithral ItemItem Cost ModifierLight armor+1,000 gpMedium armor+4,000 gpHeavy armor+9,000 gpShield+1,000 gpOther items+500 gp/lb.
    By this calculation the amount of time it will take, in game, to forge a mithril longsword is approximately this:

    15gp = price of longsword
    +1000 gp = price of Mithril - 2 lbs (1000gp) for mithril being half the weight of steel
    which equals 1015.

    But as per stated in the rules, you have to take this price and convert it into silver peices. So that's about 10,150 sp.

    Now assuming that the player has maxed out her ranks in craft at 10th level (13 ranks) and has an intelligence modifier of +1, and has the circumstance bonus of masterwork tools needed to complete the task (+2 circumstance bonus) and has an ally around to cast guidance (+1 bonus to skill check) which gives her a total bonus of 17 to her Craft (weaponsmith) skill.

    Assuming she takes a 10 and the result is 27 x 15 (the DC needed to craft a longsword) the result is 405.

    That being said, the end result is that it's going to take her approx 25 weeks to craft the sword by RAW (to use an acronym that I don't like).

    Now, unless I misread something, misinterpreted something, or my calculations are totally off, I don't see how this is going to be possible in game. I'd like it to happen in the span of one adventure, but I don't see how that's possible, unless I do some DM magic and make it work.

    So does anyone know of another method of crafting rules for 3.5 DnD or am I left to try and come up with something on my own? Any and all help will be appreciated. Thanks!
    Yours in Magic,
    R. Majere

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    Honestly, I always thought that whole 'crafting per week' thing was total BS anyway. I wish I knew a rule I could offer to help, but as I'm sure you know the crafting rules are a little obscure and kind of... freaky lol.

    The only thing I can tell you, by the rules themselves, is that you can voluntarily raise the DC by multiples of 10. In doing so, your multiplying your result by a much higher DC. For example, if the DC were 15, you could raise it to 25, which would be multiplied by 27, for a total of 675 silver made per week. (obviously still not nearly enough to finish in a reasonable amount of time.)

    My suggestion is what I do in my games. Say to hell with "per week" and use the per week values as the daily work. Of course that's not to say you can't give your player the option to use the DC increase option as well.
    Masaru Academy, a roleplaying experience you'll never forget.

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    magic items, however, are typically measured in crafting times of 1000gp per day of work. i would use the magic item creation rules as a guideline for an ability like that. or there is the prestige class of the kensai that has pretty much the same ability. they have the guidelines neatly spelled out for you. complete warrior, i do believe.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS.
    nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko
    magic items, however, are typically measured in crafting times of 1000gp per day of work. i would use the magic item creation rules as a guideline for an ability like that. or there is the prestige class of the kensai that has pretty much the same ability. they have the guidelines neatly spelled out for you. complete warrior, i do believe.
    The magic item guidelines may work, so I'll read over those before I make a final ruling. And the Kensai would be very apropos for this particular thing, if I hadn't banned non-setting specific material for this game. I'm just a stickler for Scarred Lands stuff, so I'm limiting my players choices to SL material.

    After reading things over, I'm inclined to increase the DC needed to create the item, and make the skill check results the "per day" successes, otherwise it just takes way too long to make any sort of mundane item. I mean I know it takes a long time to make a sword from a lump of metal, but 4 months of work, working approx 8-9 hours a day on it. That's a little much methinks... Thanks for the assist Lucian!

    [edit] I also feel incredibly dense for not having thought of that myself...
    Last edited by RMajere; 04-26-2009 at 10:28 AM.
    Yours in Magic,
    R. Majere

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    No problem man, happy to be of assistance. Your not the only one who was pissed off at the time they expect people to use with the crafting rules. It works out fine if you've got like 9 months of downtime, but alot of my games are very high pace and typically never even give alot of downtime, seldom more than even 1 month at a time.

    (Yes, in my campaigns characters have 'meteoric' level raises, where over the course of say 6-18 months in game they skyrocket from somewhere between levels 1 and 5 to the way high upper teens lol, not my fault the game's timeline concept wasn't designed with me in mind)
    Masaru Academy, a roleplaying experience you'll never forget.

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    You might want to do a search on the internet for how long it takes to make a sword. I found a couple of articles that discuss it, from a modern and med viewpoint, but I know there's got to be more.

    Then you could get the average of however many articles you wanted to use as your research. If it was me, since you're working with a different metal than steel, I would add time to the final number I came up with since Mithril would be harder to work, say maybe from 50% to 100% more time.

    I know there are rules for doing such things in the game, but I don't always agree with them, and if I don't I start looking at real world examples and use my own judgement.

    For instance, I use real world examples for my price lists in my game and also what players can expect to get as far as pay. My coin in the game consists of tin, copper, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum pieces, and the bronze piece is set to be worth 1 U.S. dollar, so when I tell the players the price of such is x, they'll have a good idea of how much of a deal they're getting.

    Anyway, I'd research sword making in the real world and use that for the basis of how long I would say it takes to make the weapon.

    Doh, forgot the links!

    Sword Making : For Beginners who wish to learn to be a swordsmith

    Making swords
    Last edited by Skunkape; 04-30-2009 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Forgot to post the links.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



  7. #7
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    and if someone is making a katana, be sure to add extra time for the pr campaign... ;D

    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS.
    nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive
    nijineko the creator: TwinSeraphim Studios

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    The 3.5 crafting rules are borked. I would ditch them and look at some real world examples.

    You could also look at the results as hours instead of days. 40 days work is an appropriately legendary time to forge what should be a legendary weapon. It is still a long time to work on one such item.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The OIlde Phoenix Inn

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    The Discovery Channel had a special on several weeks ago that talked about creating a Samurai katana, and according to them, you could crank out a katana in about four days... and crank them out en masse.

    But a MASTERWORK katana, that was worthy of a Samurai, took upwards of TEN MONTHS or more.

    I also hooked up with a sword smith here in the depths of Alabama. He can crank out two crappy long swords per day. For something that he would consider "masterwork" (yeah, I outed myself as a geek!), he said it would take him several months, upwards of six months, maybe more.

    I used to have a real problem with the crafting rules. I don't any more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malruhn View Post
    I also hooked up with a sword smith here in the depths of Alabama. He can crank out two crappy long swords per day. For something that he would consider "masterwork" (yeah, I outed myself as a geek!), he said it would take him several months, upwards of six months, maybe more.

    I used to have a real problem with the crafting rules. I don't any more.
    Is that the only thing he is working on?

    Forging goes remarkably fast. Hot metal is malleable in the extreme as I learned actually forging things. I would imagine a good deal of that time is spent in finishing the blade. The polishing and sharpening.

    The crafting rules are fine, if you assume everything is a masterwork, but it's not. The problem is also that some processes are slow and some are not, regardless of the cost of the item. Spinning, slow, weaving, fast. Iron work is quick. The potter is all hurry up and wait. Gold is easier to work than silver but by the rules because it costs ten times as much take ten times the time. By the crafting rules a single gold coin would take 10 days to make. From ore to coin perhaps, but starting with gold? Hardly. One day to roll out the sheet, and seconds per piece stamping out the blanks and an equal amount of time minting the image. Even a hand run mint would turn out hundred of coins a day with a handful of people.

    The rules work in some instances but the more mundane the item or more expensive due ot matierals, they break and break badly.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The OIlde Phoenix Inn

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    Since the cost here is due to a special material and not indicative of an intrinsically more difficult or nuanced creation, i would set the 'cost for crafting purposes' to be equal to a masterwork version of the weapon. Perhaps I'd add 25% or something for a difficult material. That should cut the time down significantly, especially if the PC uses the mechanism of a voluntary increase to DC.

  12. #12
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    Well, I talked it over with my player, and she seems to think (like me) that while making a good sword IRL takes months, we have to assume that not every day is spent working soley on that particular blade. Otherwise how would the blacksmith survive?

    In any case, we talked about it at length and came up with an answer. We'd nix the separate component for it being masterwork, and lump that into the creation of the weapon. Raise the DC due to the metal that will be worked with. And then take the result as the "by day" progress.

    Its not perfect, but I think it'll work for our game. Considering as the DM, I'd like her to be finished with her sword in the span of one adventure. Which is fine, because in game for me, adventures can last weeks!

    Thanks for all the tips guys. And I'll let you know how it works out when we get that far!
    Yours in Magic,
    R. Majere

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