[RPG] Is Crafting less lucrative than any other way to Earn Income


One of my players in an upcoming game came up to me and noted that crafting items takes a ridiculously long time and/or is not much cheaper than just buying the item. This got me to look into the crafting system a bit deeper.

This is question #1, dealing with the money you save vs. buying on the market. Here is #2, about crafting times.

If you successfully craft an item, you get the same benefits as if you hold a job of your level. Instead of getting coinage, you lower the amount you have to pay for the item you create. But, to start crafting, you need to spend 4 days in which you gain no cost reduction, you always have to invest half of the list price. Also, you have to obtain a formula. In contrast, Earning Income the basic way, you get paid for every day you work.

Bottom line, by crafting you give up 4 days' pay plus the cost of the formula.

I am aware of the following factors:

  • You might not be able to find work of your level, while crafting always uses your level to determine profit.
  • The item you want might not be up for sale. But, the formula might not be either.
  • You can reuse the formula. The value of this will vary based on the item.

Is there any rule that I missed or misinterpreted? Or is Crafting really just a reflavoring of Earn Income, providing meager or circumstantial benefits?

Best Answer

Crafting is less lucrative than other ways to gain money. It produces no income, and only produces a discount on the crafted item. Every other downtime activity produces income, so crafting is the worst way to earn money (lowering an expense instead of generating a profit).

However, crafting's main attraction is not to gain money. It is to create the items you want in the fashion you want regardless of the regional restrictions. As you identify in the question, this is entirely a circumstantial benefit. Being in a small hamlet without a weapon or armor-making blacksmith could leave the party in a lurch, or a party barely eking by on gold may need to craft their own equipment to save money instead of working to buy it all outright.

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