Quick Review: Making Craft Work – a workable system for crafting items in Pathfinder

Crafting items is one of those things that just hasn’t worked correctly according to the rules, since the advent of the d20 system.  Easy crafting tasks, that in game should take a day or two could stretch on for weeks or months of in game time and hard tasks, well, some of them could be completed in a week.  Don’t even talk to me about crafting plate armor.  Who want’s to take nearly half a year away from their adventuring to craft some plate?  Finally, Spes Magna Games have come along an introduced sane rules for crafting, making us all feel a lot better about making armor, shiny things and alchemical inventions.

What was wrong with crafting? To quote Making Craft Work, “Erlic wants to Craft a one-pound silver ball. His brother Rynook wants to Craft a one-pound gold ball. A one-pound ball of  silver is worth one tenth as much as a pound of gold. Even though Erlic and Rynook work on pretty much the same project — melting metal and pouring it into a mold — Rynook must spend much longer on his one-pound ball simply because it’s made of gold.”  So the same task, which should take the same amount of time, takes longer simply because of the cost of the material.

Mark L. Chance has come up with a sane system for crafting items based not on cost but difficulty, which simply works much better within the gaming framework.  Sure, in real life it may take half a year (or longer) to put together a nice, fitted bit of plate armor.  But in game time, who wants to postpone an adventure for that long?  Chance’s system reduces the time for crafting plate from 28 weeks or so, to one week.  Realistic? No, but then neither are dragons or spell chucking.  Works well within the frame of the game?  Absolutely.

I’d highly recommend this $0.99 document to any GMs and players who like to craft in game and are looking for a sane and usable system of crafting.  5 out of 5 stars.

[tags]pathfinder, rpg, role playing games, crafting[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Quick Review: Making Craft Work – a workable system for crafting items in Pathfinder

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  1. The 99 cent price tag is the only part of this that draws my attention, I worry that one of two things are going on here, it is either too simple or too complex compared to the system in place. Either way, you’re not improving game play in my mind.


  2. Nundahl: I have a copy of “Making Craft Work” and were I to reference your rather pessimistic prejudging method, it wouldn’t fit either of your limited options. At worst, I could conclude that the pdf is underpriced. Not because of any great length, (it’s an 8 page pdf), but because it is a crafting system that is both elegantly simple in structure and fully fleshed out in implementation. Since it only replaces a single subsystem of D20, it doesn’t need to be lengthy. It’s an excellent replacement for the neurotic default crafting system. It’s a real bargin at 99 cents, and any who feel the price is too low can always donate to Spes Magna Games what they feel would be a just price instead of simply condemning the product sight unseen…


  3. I will have to give it a look. I like what I have seen from Spes Magna so far.

    And, ah, life as a geek, I know that gold is a much easier material to cast than silver (lower melting point for example) so casting a ball of gold should be significantly easier than casting a ball of silver . . .


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