Alternative Crafting Rules

Every Craft attempt is defined by two elements: the time required and the DC. The time required to craft an item is influenced not by an item’s price in silver pieces, but rather by its complexity. The DC is likewise influenced by item complexity.

Item Complexity, Time Units & DC Modifiers

Item Complexity Time Unit Modifier
Very Simple 4 hours +0
Simple 1 day +2
Moderate 2 days +4
Complex 4 days +8
Very Complex 1 week +10

Item Complexity

The complexity categories listed on the table above require some defining. Keep in mind that there is a certain amount of subjectivity at work here. The key to item complexity isn’t to rely an exhaustive list of what items belong to which categories. Instead, these rules provide basic category descriptions and a few examples of sorts of items one might expect to fit each respective category.

Very Simple: These items are more or less all one piece or one material of simple shape with no moving parts. Examples: crowbar, quarterstaff.

Simple: A simple item is largely made of one material, but it requires a more specialized shape. Examples: many simple weapons, backpack, most common articles of clothing, simple traps such as pits.

Moderate: Moderate complexity items are characterized by diverse materials or different parts that must be integrated into a whole. Examples: Most martial and exotic weapons, bows, all shields, locks, simple traps using simple mechanical triggers, acid.

Complex: Complex items have diverse materials, moving parts, different parts, and/or decorative bits. Examples: Most types of armor, strength bows, crossbows, most vehicles (excluding large ocean-going vessels), alchemist’s fire, smokesticks, tingertwigs.

Very Complex: These are the most complicated items. They require diverse materials, moving parts, different parts, decorated bits, and/or multiple functions or uses. Examples: ocean-going vessels, unusual armors (such as barding), antitoxins, tanglefoot bags, sunrods, thunderstones.

Time Unit

The amount of time in this columns indicates how much time must be spent working before a Craft check is permitted.

DC Modifier

The number in this column is added to a base DC 10 of all Craft checks.

Crafting Masterwork Items

A masterwork item has a 50% increase in time unit (in addition to the normal increase in cost). For example, a longsword is a moderately complex item with a time unit of 2 days. Thus, a masterwork longsword has a time unit of 3 days.

Furthermore, any masterwork item has its Craft DC increased by +4. Thus, the masterwork longsword faces a DC 18 Craft check.

Working with Special Materials

A craftsman working with an unusual material (such as adamantine) faces a 50% increase in time unit, which stacks with the 50% increase in time unit associated with masterwork items when applicable. For example, an adamantine masterwork longsword has a time unit of 4 days. Also, unusual materials are harder to work with and increase the item’s DC as shown below:

Special Materials Modifiers

Material DC Modifier
Adamantine +6
Darkwood +2
Dragonhide +4
Cold iron +2
Mithral +4
Alchemical Silver +2

Thus, the masterwork adamantine masterwork longsword faces a DC 24 Craft check.

Batch Production

Ammunition and alchemical items can be crafted in batches.  By contributing an addition material cost to account for additional quantities, the crafter can double the amount of final product. This increases the Craft DC by +2 for each time this is done.

Using Tools (or Not…)

All crafts require artisan’s tools to give the best chance of success. If improvised tools are used, the check is made with a -2 penalty. On the other hand, masterwork artisan’s tools provide a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.

Failing a Check

What happens if the Craft check fails? Well, that depends on how badly it failed. When confronted with a failed Craft check, there are up to three possible bad effects:

If the Craft check fails, the item is not completed. Work for another time unit and try again.

If the Craft check fails by 5 or more, half of the raw materials are ruined. Pay half the raw materials cost to replace the ruined materials.

If the Craft check fails by 10 or more and you are using Craft (alchemy), your laboratory explodes. Pay to replace it as well as the ruined raw materials (as number 2 above). Also make a DC 10 Reflex save to avoid 1d6 points of fire damage.

Exceptional Craft Check Results

What happens if you really ace the Craft check? Can a character get finished more quickly than the time unit? Certainly, but there are limits. For every 5 points greater than the item’s DC is the Craft check, halve the item’s time unit, but no time unit can be halved this way more than twice.

Alternative Crafting Rules

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