[RPG] Why can you only craft one magic item per day


Most magical items of any significant power will take far longer than one day to create. Given the crafting rate of 1 day per 1,000 gold, it seems unlikely there will be any serious balance concerns with allowing multiple inexpensive items in a single day, and it seems equally unlikely that a powerful cleric could not create potions of Stabilize at a much higher rate.

Is there some balance concern behind this rule, or can it be safely house ruled away? Alternatively, is there a particular narrative reason?

Best Answer

I think it's just to ensure that PCs can only craft items during downtime.

It forces you to take a full day out to craft small items. The one day minimum helps prevent weird cases like:

  • Three scrolls taking the same time to scribe as one scroll
  • Crafting twenty feather tokens in one day
  • Scribing an unused spell into a scroll before you go to sleep, just to avoid wasting it
  • Crafting an item casually in an hour, without taking a full day of downtime

Other than that, there are no major balance issues. The amount of downtime isn't specified in the rules so crafting isn't strongly balanced against it as a limited resource. You're still spending your own gold to craft the items. I think your house rule would be reasonable.

Remember also that you're already limited by the number of spells you can cast per day: you have to cast each item's prerequisite spell once each day while crafting. To craft five feather tokens, you'd have to prepare major creation five times (or hire someone else who can, or cast from scrolls, or raise the item creation DC).

Edit: Another reason is to simplify item creation time down to increments of whole days.

Originally in D&D 3.5, you couldn't craft items while adventuring and even small items took a full 8 hour day. Pathfinder eased those requirements, but kept the 1/day limit. One benefit is that it divides item creation into whole days, which is simpler than tracking individual hours. It's not overpowered, just a restriction Pathfinder inherited from D&D 3.5.

You can remove the 1/day limit if you're willing to handle the extra complexity.

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