“…in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret, a master ring, to control all others. And into this ring he poured all his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life…”
-Galadriel, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
It’s almost a requirement for most fantasy gamers to want to build their own unique items to make their characters their own.
After all, crafting is the best way to put your mark on the world and maybe start your own business creating magical (or cursed) items for your fantasy world.
How does crafting work though? How does one shape the One Ring To Rule Them All? Read on Pathfinder, and we will find out together!
Pathfinder First Edition
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the crafting rules, we should mention what exactly a Wondrous Item is.
Wondrous Item is a catch-all term for magical items that don’t really fit into any of the specifications of Armor, Weapons, Staves, Wands, or Potions. These can be worn on the body or carried in your inventory.
Sometimes they have a permanent magical effect (normally these are with worn items) or have a magical effect when they are called upon.
Who Can Craft Wondrous Items?
In order to take the Craft Wondrous Item feat, you must have at least three levels in a Caster Class.
In addition to just the prerequisites for the feat, in order to craft the item itself you will need:
- Appropriate Equipment and Tools for the item being crafted. Jewelcrafting tools for enchanted rings or necklaces, sewing tools for clothing, leatherworking tools for belts or bracers, etc.
- Materials for Crafting the Item. This can be assumed as part of the overall gp cost for creating the item. The cost for creating an item is half the cost of actually buying it at market value. Use the items listed on the Wondrous Items as a guide for how much gp to spend on creating an item. For example, when creating a Belt of Physical Might +2, the cost for creating the belt is going to be 5,000 gold (10,000 gold / 2).
- A prepared or known spell that is going to be placed into the item. This spell is dependent on the item you are creating. If you prepare spells ahead of time like a Cleric or a Wizard, you’ll need to have the spell prepped ahead of time. If you spontaneously cast the spell like sorcerers and bards, you just need to have the spell on your known-spell list. Each individual item lists the spells used under its construction requirements. So that Belt of Physical Might +2 requires whoever is crafting it to have bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, and/or cat’s grace prepped or known when making the item.
What Exactly Does the Craft Wondrous Items Feat Do?
For all intents and purposes, all the actual feat does is just give you the ability to craft the items.
Craft Wondrous Item
Craft Wondrous Item (Item Creation)
Source: PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 120
You can create wondrous items, a type of magic item.
Prerequisites: Caster level 3rd
Benefit: You can create a wide variety of magic wondrous items. Crafting a wondrous item takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in its price. To create a wondrous item, you must use up raw materials costing half of its base price. See the magic item creation rules in Magic Items for more information.
You can also mend a broken wondrous item if it is one that you could make. Doing so costs half the raw materials and half the time it would take to craft that item.
Just look at the feat as your ticket to starting your own magical gizmo empire! With this, you have a license to print money and ruin all local feudal economies in your campaign setting.
How To Craft Wondrous Items
Once you have the items you need and all the prerequisites are covered, you need to take a few days to actually craft the item itself.
The time required to craft the item is equal to 1 day per 1,000 gold that goes into the crafting. If we continue with our Belt of Physical Might +2, then that means it will take 5 days of work to craft the belt.
These 5 days are specifically 8 hours of work each day. This time can be roleplayed out as the rest of the party goes through their downtime, or the GM can handwave it, and you can jump to the end.
Finally, you need to make a Spellcraft check to finish off the crafting job. The DC of the Spellcraft check is 5 + the caster level of the item itself. For our Belt of Physical Might +2, the DC would be 5 + the caster level listed with the item (12). So the DC is 17.
If the Spellcraft check fails, the item does not work, and the magical materials are expended. Basically, you end up with a fancy item that does nothing (like the goggles).
If you fail the check by 5 or more, the item becomes a Cursed Item, which is a whole other bag of worms.
Pathfinder Second Edition
Pathfinder 2e doesn’t actually have a classification known as Wondrous Items. However, it is possible to craft magical gear. So it would behoove us to go ahead and touch on how those rules work.
What Is the Magical Crafting Feat?
Like the Craft Wondrous Item Feat, Magical Crafting reflects your learned skill at investing physical items with magical properties.
Magical Crafting Feat
Magical Crafting Feat 2
Prerequisites: Expert in Crafting
You can Craft magic items, though some have other requirements, as listed in Chapter 11. When you select this feat, you gain formulas for four common magic items of 2nd level or lower.
Who Gets the Magical Crafting Feat?
The Magical Crafting Feat is a General Feat, meaning anyone can take it regardless of Ancestry or Class, though really only casters are going to be interested in this feat.
It is a level-2 feat, so you need to be at least level 2 in order to pick it up. Also, you need to have an Expert level in the Crafting skill.
How Does Magical Crafting Work?
In order to craft a magical item, you have to use the Craft Action. Like with Pathfinder 1e, you need a few things to start out with:
- Appropriate Tools and Workspace for the item you are crafting.
- Raw Materials equal to half the market price for the item. If the materials are mundane in nature, you can typically just handwave it and go buy the materials from the nearest settlement. If the items are rarer, you will probably need to go on an adventure to find them.
- The Appropriate Formula for the item you are crafting. Formulas are the patterns you need to create the item you want. You can either purchase the formula from certain vendors or attempt to reverse-engineer from an item you currently have. To reverse-engineer an item, the rules are listed on the Formula page itself.
- Finally, the Item you are crafting must be equal to your level or lower. For example, the Handwraps of Mighty Blows +1 are a level-2 item. That means you must be at least level 2 to craft these items. If the magical item you are creating has no level listed, treat it as a level-0 time.
To use this as an example, we are going to make some Handwraps of Mighty Blows +1. In order to do that, I need to have the tools to embroider the cloth strips and the space to work on them.
I also need the raw materials (cloth, thread) equal to half the market price for the item. Handwraps of Mighty Blows +1 go for 35 gold each, so half of that is 17.5 (round up to 18 gold). I will also need the formula for making them.
Once I gather all of the above, I then need to spend 4 days crafting the item. Four days is the base amount of time for crafting anything with the Craft Action. If an item is particularly intricate, your GM might call for more time.
At the culmination of the 4 days, I make a Crafting skill check with the DC set by the GM. If the GM is using standard level-based DCs for Crafting, that would make a level-2 item a DC 16 Craft Check.
If I succeed, the item is crafted and working. A Critical Success has the chance of increasing my craft skill! A failure means the item isn’t made, but you can salvage the parts and try again.
A Critical Failure uses 10 percent of the raw materials, but if you can replace it, you can try again.
Keep it crafty, Pathfinder!