Alternate Crafting Rules

While the base rules for crafting are perfectly suitable for the needs of most campaigns, they can sometimes be cumbersome to use. Those rules assume that a character spends a full week crafting an item. They also involve complex multiplication to determine the degree of success and speed with which the item can be crafted. Not only are these rules significantly different from those for other skill checks, but they can slow down play at the table and give rise to strange circumstances where it takes an unreasonably long time to create relatively simple items that happen to have a high gold piece cost. Furthermore, while the system features rules for attempting daily checks, these rules can be cumbersome for players.

The following system presents crafting rules that are a little easier to use, especially in conjunction with the existing downtime system.

With this alternative system, use the following version of the Craft skill instead of the original version.

Craft (Int)

You are skilled in the creation of a specific group of items, such as armor or weapons. Like Knowledge, Perform, and Profession, Craft is actually a number of separate skills. You could have several Craft skills, each with its own ranks. The most common Craft skills are alchemy, armor, baskets, books, bows, calligraphy, carpentry, cloth, clothing, glass, jewelry, leather, locks, paintings, pottery, sculptures, ships, shoes, stonemasonry, traps, and weapons.

A Craft skill is specifically focused on creating something. If an endeavor does not result in a created product, it probably falls under the heading of a Profession skill.

Check: You can practice your trade and make a decent living, earning your check result in silver pieces per day. You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the craft’s daily tasks, how to supervise untrained helpers, and how to handle common problems. (Untrained laborers and assistants earn an average of 1 silver piece per day.)

The basic function of the Craft skill, however, is to make an item of the appropriate type. Most items created with a Craft skill fall into one of several broad categories of complexity. Others have Craft DCs based on CR (in the case of traps) or on the Fortitude saves required to avoid or minimize their effects (in the case of poisons).

Before crafting an item, you must have tools and an appropriate workshop or area. If you don’t have access to artisan tools, you can still attempt a Craft check, but you take a –2 penalty when attempting a check without such tools or with improvised tools. If you have masterwork artisan tools, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the skill check.

After you have a suitable area to craft and you’ve gathered your tools, you must then acquire raw materials whose value is equal to 1/4 the cost of the item or items you wish to craft. Given the necessary tools, materials, and workspace, you can attempt a Craft check of the appropriate DC each day. If you succeed, you make an amount of progress equal to the silver piece or gold piece value listed in the appropriate entry in the Base Progress per Day column of Table: Crafting DCs and Progress Values. If you exceed the DC by at least 5, your progress doubles. If you exceed the DC by at least 10, your progress triples, if you exceed it by at least 15, you quadruple your progress, and so on. When your total progress equals the cost of the item, that item is completed. Any remaining progress can be applied to a similar item; otherwise, all excess progress is lost.

If you fail the check, no progress is made that day. If you fail the check by 5 or more, you waste an amount of your raw materials equal to the item’s base progress per day, up to a maximum of the initial cost of the raw materials. Such wasted material must be replenished before you can continue crafting the item.

Setting Aside Crafting Items: As long as you can store an item in a secure and safe place, you can set aside an item that you began crafting and return to it again later with little or no effect. Your GM may rule that this is not possible, especially in the case of volatile alchemical items or perishable goods.

Crafting Masterwork and Special Material Items: When you’re crafting a masterwork item or an item made of a special material, its crafting difficulty increases by one step. For example, a longsword (which has a base difficulty of normal) is considered a complex item when crafted as a masterwork item (DC 20; 4 gp base progress per day). In the case of items crafted from special materials that also count as masterwork (such as adamantine armor and weapons), the complexity of the item increases by two steps.

Repairing Items: You can use the appropriate Craft skill to repair items of that type. Repairing an item with the broken condition or that has taken damage (or both) requires tools and a work area, and you must pay 1/10 the item’s cost in raw materials. Repairing an item has the same DC as crafting the item, but takes an amount of time based on the item’s complexity. Extremely simple items take an hour to repair. Simple and normal items take 1d4 hours to repair. Complex and intricate items take a day to repair, and all other items take 1d4 days to repair.

Item Crafting Difficulties

The following are the categories of crafting difficulties and the items within those categories. The items are split into general categories. Alchemical items and poisons require Craft (alchemy) checks. Armor and shields require Craft (armor) checks. Weapons require Craft (weapons) checks for melee weapons, thrown weapons, nonsiege firearms, crossbows, or crossbow bolts; Craft (bows) checks for bows or arrows; Craft (alchemy) checks for firearm ammunition; and Craft (siege engines) checks for all forms of siege engines. The Craft checks for mundane items depend on the item being crafted, with the most common ones being baskets, books, calligraphy, carpentry, cloth, clothing, glass, jewelry, leather, locks, paintings, pottery, sculptures, shoes, and stonemasonry. Crafting vehicles requires Craft (carpentry) for most land-based vehicles, Craft (ships) for seaborne vessels and airships, and Craft (alchemy) for alchemical dragons and steam giants. Crafting traps requires Craft (traps).

Table: Crafting DCs and Progress Values
Crafting Difficulty Craft DC Base Progress per Day
Extremely simple 5 5 sp
Simple 10 1 gp
Normal 15 2 gp
Complex 20 4 gp
Intricate 25 8 gp
Very intricate 30 16 gp
Extremely intricate 35 32 gp
Poisons DC = the Fortitude DC of the poison 32 gp
Traps DC based on complexity, see text 32 gp

Extremely Simple (DC 5)

  • Alchemical Items: Casting plaster.
  • Mundane Items: Very simple items such as wooden spoons, other carved one-piece items.
  • Weapons: Manufactured clubs, quarterstaffs, slings.

Simple (DC 10)

  • Alchemical Items: Light detector.
  • Armor: Light armor, wooden shields.
  • Mundane Items: Typical household items such as iron pots.
  • Vehicles: Cart, raft.
  • Weapons: Simple weapons (except crossbows).

Normal (DC 15)

Complex (DC 20)

Intricate (DC 25)

Very Intricate (DC 30)

  • Alchemical Items: Banshee ballerina firework, flame fountain firework, rusting powder, soul stimulant, tangleburn bag, troll oil.
  • Traps: All traps CR 11–15.
  • Vehicles: Airship.
  • Weapons: Alchemical siege engines, siege firearms.

Extremely Intricate (DC 35)

  • Traps: All traps CR 16+.
  • Vehicles: Alchemical dragon, steam giant.

Supervising Helpers

As stated in both versions of the skill, Craft allows you to supervise untrained laborers. An untrained laborer has no ranks in Craft, but can attempt to aid in the process of creating items with the Craft skill. This is done by first paying the untrained laborer either 1 sp per day or 7 sp for a week’s worth of work. Each untrained worker you hire can attempt to aid another on your Craft check with a +0 bonus (assuming an Intelligence score of 10 or 11 and no ranks in the appropriate Craft skill). Typically, you can hire no more than two artisans to help you craft most small or relatively simple items (such as adventuring gear, alchemical items, armor, poisons, and weapons), but for large and complex items (such as siege engines and vehicles), you can hire as many as 10 untrained laborers to assist you.

If your GM allows it, you can also hire and supervise trained laborers. These laborers have ranks in the appropriate Craft skill and have a greater chance to aid you in your crafting endeavors. Table: Trained Laborers gives the details on such trained laborers, how much they cost, the number of ranks they have in the appropriate Craft check, the bonus on their

Craft checks, and the typical size of the settlement in which they are found. You can hire only trained laborers who have fewer ranks in the appropriate Craft than you have; a trained laborer with more ranks than you will not deign to assist you.


When crafting items, you need tools and an appropriate workspace. What constitutes an appropriate workspace is often situational. Repairing weapons or armor in the field requires only a relatively quiet and clear area, while crafting a suit of full plate requires a workshop and a forge. Typically, items of normal or greater complexity require a workshop of some sort, but under certain circumstances, the GM can rule that such items can be created in the field.

Alchemical items and poisons are exceptions to these guidelines, as their compact nature makes them easier to craft in the field, especially with the help of an alchemist’s lab.

Masterwork Workspaces: Large, well-stocked workspaces can also aid in the crafting of items, particularly when you use trained and untrained labor. These masterwork workspaces grant trained and untrained laborers a +2 circumstance bonus on checks to aid another when they aid your Craft check. Furthermore, if a trained or untrained laborer succeeds at the check to aid another by 5 or more, that laborer grants you a +3 bonus on your check instead of the normal +2. It typically costs 5 gp per day to rent a masterwork workspace for crafting relatively small items (such as most adventuring gear, alchemical items, armor, poisons, and weapons) and 20 gp per day to rent a masterwork workspace for creating larger items (such as siege engines and vehicles).

Special Raw Materials

Crafting items requires a certain ratio of raw materials to start. Typically, these raw materials are some sort of trade good that is required to make the item. Making a suit of chainmail, for instance, requires 37 gp and 5 sp worth of steel (assuming you are using the alternate Craft skill presented above). But not all raw materials are the same—some raw materials are better suited for crafting. These are special raw materials.

Unlike normal raw materials, special raw materials have both a cost and a crafting cost. The cost of the special raw material is the amount for which it can be purchased and sold. Special raw materials are trade goods, and like all trade goods, they can be bought and sold for the same price.

Table: Trained Laborers
Ranks in Craft Craft Bonus Cost to Hire per Day Cost to Hire per Week Settlement Size
1 +4 3 sp 2 gp, 1 sp Hamlet
2 +5 4 sp 2 gp, 8 sp Village
3 +6 6 sp 4 gp, 2 sp Small town
4 +7 8 sp 5 gp, 6 sp Large town
5 +8 1 gp 7 gp Small city
6 +9 1 gp, 5 sp 10 gp, 5 sp Large city
7 +10 2 gp 14 gp Metropolis

The crafting cost is the amount of gold they are considered to be worth for the purposes of crafting. For example, flawless steel’s cost is 8 gp per pound, but its crafting cost per pound is 4 gp. It can be bought and sold for 8 gp per pound, but when used as the raw material for crafting items, it is considered to be worth only 4 gp per pound.

While special raw materials can be bought and sold, they work best when handed out as treasure. As the GM, if one of the PCs in your group has invested in the Craft skill, consider giving out these special trade goods in place of coin treasure every so often.

Special raw materials’ crafting costs are always half their actual cost. They also have special traits when used as the raw material for crafting in the alternate Craft skill rules presented above. A special material cannot have more than one of the following special traits.

Easily Worked Raw Materials: This type of raw material makes it easier to craft items faster. When using this raw material, the item’s base progress per day is doubled. For example, if you are creating a suit of chainmail using easily worked steel, your base progress per day is 4 gp rather than 2 gp.

Flawless Raw Materials: This material is so flawless that it can be used to create high-quality items with ease. When using flawless raw materials to create either masterwork or special-material items, the crafting difficulty doesn’t increase. For example, if you craft a suit of masterwork chainmail using flawless steel, the difficulty of the check remains normal (DC 15) rather than becoming complex (DC 20).

Malleable Raw Materials: This type of special raw material can withstand crafting errors better than other normal materials of the same type. If you fail a Craft check by 5 or more when using malleable raw materials, you don’t lose an amount of raw material equal to the item’s base progress per day.

Pure Raw Materials: This raw material makes it easier to craft an item. When using this raw material, you roll twice when attempting your Craft check and take the better result.


The rules for the Profession skill provide little more than an abstract means of earning a bit of coin, with little flavor or drama included to enhance the campaign. This section presents alternatives and expansions to those profession rules to make practicing a profession both easier and more evocative.

Table: Special Raw Material Costs
Special Raw Materials (1 lb.) Easily Worked Flawless Malleable Pure
Adamantine 600 gp 600 gp 375 gp 450 gp
Alchemical silver 20 gp 20 gp 12 gp, 5 sp 15 gp
Angelskin 200 gp 200 gp 125 gp 150 gp
Blood crystal 80 gp 80 gp 50 gp 60 gp
Bone 2 gp 2 gp 1 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp 1 gp, 5 sp
Bronze 10 gp 10 gp 6 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp 7 gp, 5 sp
Cloth 8 gp 8 gp 5 gp 6 gp
Cold iron 100 gp 100 gp 62 gp, 5 sp 75 gp
Darkleaf cloth 20 gp 20 gp 12 gp, 5 sp 15 gp
Darkwood 20 gp 20 gp 12 gp, 5 sp 15 gp
Dragonhide 100 gp 100 gp 62 gp, 5 sp 75 gp
Eel hide 250 gp 250 gp 156 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp 187 gp, 5 sp
Elysian bronze 400 gp 400 gp 250 gp 300 gp
Fire-forged steel 300 gp 300 gp 187 gp, 5 sp 225 gp
Frost-forged steel 300 gp 300 gp 187 gp, 5 sp 225 gp
Gold 100 gp 100 gp 62 gp, 5 sp 75 gp
Greenwood 100 gp 100 gp 62 gp, 5 sp 75 gp
Griffon mane 80 gp 80 gp 50 gp 60 gp
Leather 6 gp 6 gp 3 gp, 7 sp, 5 cp 4 gp, 5 sp
Living steel 200 gp 200 gp 125 gp 150 gp
Mithral 800 gp 800 gp 500 gp 600 gp
Obsidian 6 gp 6 gp 3 gp, 7 sp, 5 cp 4 gp, 5 sp
Steel 8 gp 8 gp 5 gp 6 gp
Stone 6 gp 6 gp 3 gp, 7 sp, 5 cp 4 gp, 5 sp
Viridium 400 gp 400 gp 250 gp 300 gp
Whipwood 300 gp 300 gp 187 gp, 5 sp 225 gp
Wood 2 gp 2 gp 1 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp 1 gp, 5 sp
Wyroot 400 gp 400 gp 250 gp 300 gp
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Unchained © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Ross Beyers, Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Robert Emerson, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, and Russ Taylor.

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