Know Your Skills – Craft

How well do you know the skills in Pathfinder?

‘Not too well’?  That’s fine, that’s what this is for!  After all, why would you put points in a skill when you don’t understand what it actually does in the context of the game?

There is more information available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (now in A5 paperback too!) and Paizo’s Online Reference Document; plus I found a great app for phones/tablets that provides full offline access to every rule that Paizo have, and will, ever release (iOS / Android).

So, Craft…  Sounds obvious?  Ok, but what could it be used for in the context of the game?

Noodle Cooler anyone?

Pathfinder’s description of Craft is this.

Now, a lot of players that start Pathfinder see ‘Crafting’ as something to take at later levels, but it’s important to realise that you can benefit from it now!  There are almost no boundaries to the craft that you could take, and you can have multiple skills too, as a point of reference though, the most common ones are: alchemy, armour, baskets, books, bows, calligraphy, carpentry, cloth, clothing, glass, jewellery, leather, locks, paintings, pottery, sculptures, ships, shoes, stonemasonry, traps, and weapons.

So if you’ve always dreamed of making +2 Straw Basket of Amazingballs?


…or maybe a +3 Painting of …  I don’t even know!  Whatever.  Look, I’m not saying all of them are good choices, I’m just showing you the list!

3D Street Art

The Craft skills are different to the Profession skills, as they are specifically focused on creating something; whereas if nothing is actually created by the endeavour / skill, it more than likely a Profession skill.

Also, consider and think about your Craft skill being used for Checks where you’re trying to find out information on something, eg. You’ve broken into a room at the tavern that was rented by a Noble, you’re trying to work out where he’s from and what he’s doing in town but don’t really find anything to help you.  Then you remember (because you were listening) that the GMs description of the room included details of a painting / sculpture / item of pottery in the room…  A Craft Check for that item might give you the clue you’re after!

More readily useful Crafting skills could be:

  • Constantly running out of healing spells? Why not make some potions with your Alchemy skill?
  • Tired of constantly being hit in combat because you armour is rubbish? Make some!
  • Need to break into a castle but there’s an increase in security? Lucky you took Calligraphy so you could forge some documents!
  • Ran out of arrows/bolts but you’re in a forest, and have Carpentry (assume Fletching falls into this)? Bazinga!


Decisions around which Craft to take can be decided in many ways, some are simply ‘character logical’, others are flavour, others are for trying to build yourself magical items!  Bear in mind though, that these things take time, and the more complex the item is, the more time it takes and the more it will cost to get the right components/ingredients.

Also, think about whether Spells could be used in connection with your Crafting too, so finding a Mage that specialises in Enhancement, could turn your regular Longspear into a, +2 Longspear of Shiny Deathitude!


All Crafts require Artisan’s Tools and, in turn, they give an increased chance of success:

  • If improvised tools are used, the check is made with a –2 penalty.
  • If masterwork artisan’s tools provide a +2 circumstance bonus on the check.

Paizo’s Crafting skill details show how to work out how much time and money it takes to make an item.

Failing the Check can cause the item to break, so bear that in mind!  Checks can be made either per day or per week – this is determined by the required time to make the item/s.

If an item is broken though, you can try to repair it by making relevant Craft Checks against the same DC that it took to make the item in the first place. The cost of repairing an item is one-fifth of the item’s purchase price.

All the details of weapons, armour, drinks, magical items, masterwork items etc etc can be found on Paizo’s Reference Site…  Unless you want to create something the world has never seen before!

Action: Does not apply. Craft checks are made by the day or week (see above).

Try Again: Yes, but each time you fail by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.

Special: You may voluntarily add +10 to the indicated DC to craft an item. This allows you to create the item more quickly (since you’ll be multiplying this higher DC by your Craft check result to determine progress). You must decide whether to increase the DC before you make each weekly or daily check.

Your imagination is the only limitation… Poetry, fo shizzle.



2 thoughts on “Know Your Skills – Craft

  1. zhap77

    Ok, so does crafting level with you? Does it get easier to make awesome shit or can I just be awesome at level 1 and make me a “Drum of Drumtasticness” now?

    Or can I really only make a crap bingo to sell and make some moolah on the side?

    1. It works just like the other skills. It levels up when you put points into it.

      As for the Drum of Drumtasticness, it’s a skill check. So the higher your skill is, the higher the chance of succeeding. There are many ways to improve that chance as well… Spells, GCA’s etc.

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