Craft Points

Posted by EarthDragon on 1st September 2015.

Craft Points were originally introduced in the 3.5 source Unearthed Arcana.

This variant was designed specifically for campaigns that don't offer a lot of "downtime" to the PCs, as is fairly typical of my campaigns. It unifies the rules for crafting items and creating magic items, while also replicating a character's ability to come up with just the thing he needs for a specific task in the nick of time. It glosses over the realities of such work-tool kits, alchemical reagents, laboratories, long hours of toil, and the like—to keep the game moving along at an exciting pace. After all, fighting giants, demons, and dragons is generally a lot more fun than waiting for someone to finish crafting a new ring of protection.

To craft an item without spending the normal labour time, a character with the appropriate item creation feat (such as Craft Masterwork Armour, Brew Potion, or Craft Staff; see below) can pay one-tenth the item's market price in craft points (minimum 1 point). They must also pay material costs equal to one-half the item's market price (this replaces the normal material cost for crafting an item). For a magic item, the character must also pay the normal experience point cost for crafting the item. Once the character declares that they are spending these craft points and gold pieces (and experience points, for a magic item), the item is automatically completed one day later (typically the next morning). Though this makes it appear as if the item was created "instantly," the assumption is that the character has actually been working on it for a while, but only now got around to finishing it.

The system simply assumes that characters are always working on various projects in their spare time, whether between forays into the dungeon, while on the road, or even while gathered around the campfire after battling goblins. Thus, when the time comes, they simply spend the requisite gold and craft points, and the item is "finished" one day later. To spend craft points toward the creation of an alchemical, masterwork, or magic item, you must have the requisite Craft feat (such as Craft Masterwork Armour for creating a masterwork chain shirt) or assist someone who does (see Assisting, below). Crafting non-masterwork armour and weapons or simple items—tools, chests, saddles, and the like—doesn't require a Craft feat. Anyone who helps with the creation of such an item can contribute craft points at the normal rate.

For non-magical items, you must make a successful Craft check to complete the item. For a masterwork item, use the DC of the item or of the masterwork component, whichever is higher. A failed check means you waste one-half of the gold pieces and craft points required for the item, but you may try again as soon as the next day if you still have enough gold pieces and craft points to complete the item. Magic items require no skill check to complete. You can reduce the amount of craft points required by increasing the amount of time you spend working on the item. For non-magical items, reduce the craft point cost by 1 point for every 100 gp of work you contribute to the item's creation (see the Craft skill). For magic items, each 8-hour day spent working on the item reduces the craft point cost by 100.

Example One

A masterwork suit of full plate armour has a market price of 1,650 gp. A character with the Craft Armour feat could pay one-third of this price and make daily or weekly Craft (armour-smith) checks to slowly complete the suit of armour, or they could pay one-half of this price and spend 165 craft points to complete it one day later with a successful DC 25 Craft check. (A failed check at this point would cost 412 gp and 82 craft points.) Alternatively, they could spend some days or weeks working on the item (making regular Craft checks), then finish it quickly by spending craft points equal to 165 minus 1 per 100 gp of work already completed.

Example Two

A +2 long-sword has a market price of 8,000 gp (not including the material cost of the masterwork long-sword itself). Assuming you had the Craft Magic Arms and Armour feat (and didn't have to make the masterwork long-sword from scratch), you could either spend 8 days of time to craft the item, or you could spend 800 craft points to finish it "instantly." (In either case, you have to spend 4,000 gp in addition to the time or craft points.) If you wanted, you could save 200 craft points by spending two 8-hour days working on the item.

Sample Crafted Items
Item Market Price Craft Cost
Arrows, 100 10 tell 5 tell, 1 craft
Acid 10 tell 5 tell,1 craft
Chainmail* 20 tell 10 tell, 2 craft
Lock, simple* 20 tell 10 tell, 2 craft
Scroll of cure light wounds 25 tell 12.5 tell, 1 XP, 2 craft
Greatsword* 50 tell 25 tell, 5 craft
Masterwork chainmail 170 tell 85 tell, 17 craft
Potion of cure moderate wounds 300 tell 150 tell, 6 XP, 30 craft
Masterwork greatsword 350 tell 175 tell, 35 craft
+ 1 chainmail** 1,000 tell 500 tell, 40 XP, 100 craft
Ring of protection + 1 2,000 tell 1,000 tell, 80 XP, 200 craft
+1 greatsword** 2,000 tell 1,000 tell, 80 XP, 200 craft
Wand of fireball 11,250 tell 5,625 tell, 450 XP, 1,125 craft
Gloves of Dexterity +4 16,000 tell 8,000 tell, 640 XP, 1,600 craft
+5 chainmail** 25,000 tell 12,500 tell, 1,000 XP, 2,500 craft
+5 greatsword 50,000 tell 25,000 tell, 2,000 XP, 5,000 craft
Robe of the archmagi 75,000 tell 37,500 tell, 3,000 XP, 7,500 craft
Tome of understanding +5 137,500 tell 68,750 tell, 5,500 XP, 13,750 craft

* Does not require a Craft feat.

** The market prices and craft costs for these items assume that you already have the masterwork item to be enhanced.


In addition to the primary crafter who must have the appropriate Craft feat up to three assistants can contribute craft points to the creation of the item. Assistants who have the appropriate Craft feat contribute craft points at full normal value. For untrained assistants (those who don't have the appropriate Craft feat), each craft point contributed counts as 1/2 point of assistance. The primary creator must contribute at least half of the craft points required to create an item. It doesn't matter who contributes the gold piece cost that goes toward creating the item. Only the primary creator can contribute experience points toward the creation of a magic item.

Gaining Craft Points

A 1st-level character has 100 craft points. With each class level gained, they gain a number of craft points equal to their new level × 100. A 2nd-level character can have as many as 300 craft points, and so forth, all the way up to a 20th-level character, who would have a total of 21,000 craft points (assuming they never spent any). Creatures with Intelligence of 3 or higher have craft points as a character whose level equals their class levels + Hit Dice. A night nag (8 HD), for instance, has the craft points of an 8th-level character. If that night hag gained a class level, it would gain an additional 900 craft points. Of course, not all creatures can use their craft points—despite being at least reasonably intelligent, a griffon or pegasus is unlikely to be in a position to craft an item or assist another character in crafting an item. The DM will determine whether a creature can use its craft points. Creatures with Intelligence of 2 or lower (or without an Intelligence score) never gain craft points. Familiars or special mounts never gain craft points, regardless of their intelligence or Hit Dice.

Character Level Craft Points Gained Total Craft Points*
1st 100 100
2nd 200 300
3rd 300 600
4th 400 1,000
5th 500 1,500
6th 600 2,100
7th 700 2,800
8th 800 3,600
9th 900 4,500
10th 1,000 5,500
11th 1,100 6,600
12th 1,200 7,800
13th 1,300 9,100
14th 1,400 10,500
15th 1,500 12,000
16th 1,600 13,600
17th 1,700 15,300
18th 1,800 17,100
19th 1,900 19,000
20th 2,000 21,000

* Subtract any craft points already spent from this total, and add any craft points gained from feats.

Item Creation Feats

Each time you gain an item creation feat, you gain additional craft points as noted on the table below. You don't have to spend these craft points on items appropriate to the feat-you can spend them on any item. For example, Craft Masterwork Weapon grants a bonus of 100 craft points, which you can use to craft weapons, armour, potions, or any other item. In addition to the standard item creation feats, this variant includes a number of feats dedicated to the creation of non-magic items. The table below gives appropriate new prerequisites for all item creation feats, including the standard ones.

Feat Craft Points Gained
Brew Potion 1,500
Craft Alchemical Item 100
Craft Magic Arms and Armour 2,500
Craft Masterwork Armour 100
Craft Masterwork Ranged Weapon 100
Craft Masterwork Weapon 100
Craft Rod 4,500
Craft Staff 6,000
Craft Want 2,500
Craft Wondrous Item 1,500
Forge Ring 6,000
Scribe Scroll 500
Talented Crafter 500