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Crafting Magic Items and Economy.

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  • Crafting Magic Items and Economy.

    It seems that given the rules, the cost of made items should be more that double the cost of components, particularly when the cost goes up.
    example. a item with component cost of 4000 takes a wildcard with a d10 in occult 6.5 weeks on average 10% chance of critical failure, while a 30,000 gp item takes 48 weeks with a 50% chance of failure.
    so the value of the so given a sale cost of 8000 gp, the wizard will make 3.6K in profit (-400 for 10 critical chance) over 6.5 weeks or 500+gp/week.
    while the item with a 60K sale cost, the wizard will make 15K profit (30K -15K for 50% chance of failure) over 48 weeks or 312.5 gp/week.

    It seems that the system makes expensive magic items much more costly to build than to buy.
    120K holy avenger, will take the same caster 97 weeks with a 80% chance of critical failure. i.e. on average, the caster will spent @ 300 weeks (6 years) and 240K gp to make an item that sells for 120K

  • #2
    Originally posted by mriddle View Post
    It seems that the system makes expensive magic items much more costly to build than to buy.
    This is probably by design. Availability to buy is under the control of the GM. Creating magic items is more in the direct control of the PCs, and powerful magic items will have a big impact.

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    • #3
      But the OP has shown that crafting expensive items costs you more than their sale price.

      Comment


      • #4
        No, they cost PCs more than the sale price. NPCs don’t have to follow the same rules as PCs do.

        Comment


        • mriddle
          mriddle commented
          Editing a comment
          to me, that implies a bad design. why would the rules not be consistent ?

        • ScowlingDragon
          ScowlingDragon commented
          Editing a comment
          @mriddle

          Making rules the same for PCs & NPCs is not a worthy design goal. I have tried it many times in many systems and its never worth it.

      • #5
        The game is about the PCs and it focusses on them and whether they succeed or not in the moment. By contrast, whether some mage who might never appear in game succeeds at making a magic item first time or not is irrelevant. It is probably already in the past - the item exists, so eventually they succeeded.

        Look at it another way - do you, as GM, want to spend time first making an NPC mage, then decide how much money that mage has for raw materials, then make some skill rolls for them, then decide they sold it to a merchant (dicing off for their contract negotiation); or do you just say that the shop has a +1 sword available for sale?

        The rules for PCs to make magic items are there to allow PCs to have exactly the item they want, rather than just getting what they find. They don’t exist so that a player can decide their character makes more money as an artisan than they would as an adventurer and so hang up their hat.

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        • #6
          The rules for item creation should make economic sense and should be the same for an NPC as they are for a PC. No mage would ever attempt to make a high powered magic item, as odds are they could never make enough gold on it to justify the time it takes to make. The mathematical chance that the caster will have a crit fail during the item creation process is too high. 97 weeks to craft a Holy Avenger I can buy (though that does seem to be a stretch), but an 80% chance that the caster is going to fail in the process is a bit much. Also, as written, if you just raise the cost of the item, then you increase the time to make it and increase the chance of a crit fail.

          I really hope that this gets changed. As it is, the system is illogical and just does not work.

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          • #7
            Has anyone looked at the Pathfinder rules on this subject? Is the failure rate the same? Better? Worse?

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          • #8
            Originally posted by FBatton View Post
            The rules for item creation should make economic sense and should be the same for an NPC as they are for a PC.
            I disagree, the game is about action adventure rather than prudent economics. There are other systems for that.

            Comment


            • mriddle
              mriddle commented
              Editing a comment
              The amount of consistency needed in a game world varies from player group to player group. To me, (and SOME of the people I play with), this level of inconsistency is jarring and breaks the suspension of disbelief.
              Some other people who I play with are fine with handwaving this stuff away.

              But fundamentally, if you are not going to allow PCs to make powerful magic items, why bother to include the rules. It would be like including a class that requires D12s in every stat.

              Savage Worlds' rules allow for lots of different game styles including where action adventure and merchanting might intersect.

            • dbm
              dbm commented
              Editing a comment
              The rules do allow this, they just make it expensive. Consider that the alternative is to go on an adventure to find that item you want, or for the GM to simply say yes, you can buy it.

              PC crafting is a backstop option.

          • #9
            This was brought up... I can't remember where exactly, in Pathfinder. One of the GM assist entries. The rules for item creation (as they were in D&D 3.X) are such so that PCs can't break the economy by crafting their own stuff, or be at a significant advantage if they craft their own items as instead of finding/purchasing. I think it was poorly balanced, but better in Pathfinder than it was in D&D (which cost experience points in addition to money). This is also why, unlike D&D, Pathfinder never had an artificer type class (Alchemist came lose, but not quite).

            Yeah, doesn't make as much sense. But, on the other hand, it seems like (and I could be wrong once we get the Bestiary) there's less gear dependence than original (not as much "if you don't have +X weapons/armor you're dead"). That is consistent with what they did with Rifts, which kept the feel of the original without the need for everyone to have a main battle tank's worth of armor just to go to an outhouse.

            Comment


            • #10
              I'm not working on magic items and their crafting, so I can't comment as to the intent behind the specific design. But on a macro scale, remember that Pathfinder assumes the NPCs all play by the same rules the players do and that their rules must function, in part, as a simulation of how their world works. That's why there are so many rules with lots of complications and floating modifiers and such. Savage Worlds is a representation of how the world works. We don't expect a GM to make an NPC character sheet and roll to craft the items that show up in the shops in the game. So the rules are principally for the players and the GM is free to do what makes sense/ is dramatic.

              Comment


              • mriddle
                mriddle commented
                Editing a comment
                I do not expect a GM (or myself as GM) to make a NPC character sheet and roll either, unless it is significant to the story, but I would expect that the GM could explain how an item was made and that would not be RADICALLY different from a PC making one.

            • #11
              Second version of the rules takes away the restart on a crit fail. my biggest problem.

              Comment


              • Leatherneck556
                Leatherneck556 commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree. I'm not super big into magic items crafting, personally, but I agree that completely losing all progress on the item felt like a really harsh penalty for a crit fail.

            • #12
              Just... another question: Why would anyone expect magic items to be created to be sold? I expect most high level magic items to be created to be USED. Economics is NOT the deciding factor for most of those items to be created. Nobody created Excalibur because they thought they might earn some money on that... those items MIGHT find their way to a merchant one day (maybe because a hero looted a dragons hoard and sold it), but that was never the intend of the creator.

              So by that logic, it makes sense that higher level items are less likely to make you a profit. That, and it's unlikely to find a buyer for expensive items. So, most artificers would probably prefer to create smaller, cheaper items anyway. In the real world, margins are often better on smaller, cheaper items than on huge expensive items too.

              Comment


              • mriddle
                mriddle commented
                Editing a comment
                Personally I think that there would a sliding scale of making for sale. Small items would be both, some adventurers would make small quick items for their next adventure. But some artificers would choose to forgo the risks of adventuring, to make a steady living making items for sale. Now for expensive things, I see these getting made by an organization (Church, city, guild etc) where members contribute to common goal.
                But I disagree about the higher level items less likely to make a profit. limited supply = high price. (In the real world margin is higher on the rarer items, look at cars, SUVs have higher markups than small cars.) now selling such an item would not be trivial. I expect that most of the high end item would be sold by high end dealer non-unlike the way Christies and Sothebys do high end stuff.
                If you are high level adventurer with money, those high end items have more value to you that the money does. (because you do not have to wait the two years to get it made).
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