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PF2E Crafting Ammunition


Crafting Ammunition seem a bit slow. Takes 4 days to craft 10 arrows and you cant really do it "in the field". At least thats what the GM says is by the book.

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Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
By the book, in PF2, there is no quick way to craft minor items that should really take hours, at most.

I suggest working with your DM to set up a house rule to allow crafting of minor, low-cost items based on your average "earn income" check, dispensing with the 4-day lead time, which is really intended for magic crafting.

Arrows cost 1sp for ten. A first level character trained in crafting could expect to earn 2sp on a successful craft/earn income roll (for 8 hours of work). So as a DM, I'd let him craft 5 arrows with 2 hours of work and a successful roll.

But you will find such a rule nowhere in the PF2 books. It's up to you to convince your DM to let you do this.


I suspect that PF2 is closer to reality if you think about. Starting from a goose, a block of ash and a lump of mild steel.
Just think about the labour of sawing a 3 foot by 9 inch by 6 inch block of ash in to 3 foot rods of 1/2 by 1/2 inch with hand tools.

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Well, that's just it. You don't saw a block of wood to make arrow shafts, you use suitable wood that is already long, thin and relatively straight, picked green and then straightened when necessary, usually using a heated soapstone. See this article for some details about arrow straightening.

The hard part about making arrows is the arrow heads. I could easily see any competent archer retrieving broken or splintered arrows after a battle just to get the arrowheads back. If you have to forge your own arrow heads, IMHO the 4-day lead time in the official crafting system is fully justified, but you should be able to make a lot more than a batch of 10 in that case.

Of course PF2 operates at a level of abstraction where the player doesn't need to bother with the accounting work of keeping track of various materials. You just spend the time and the cost and voilà.

So what is needed for "simple" crafting is both a system for foraging for materials, and a system for time spent crafting that doesn't require the 4-day lead time, when you're crafting something that costs a few silver pieces or less to outright purchase. Personally, as DM, I would allow any trained crafter to use the "earn income" table to produce such items directly, since the offical PF2 crafting system is really designed for high-ticket items like magic gear.

But, again, as things stand there is no official system for crafting low-cost items or bypassing the 4-day lead time.


@Philip Benz having looked at the references you supplied and some other material I would say making arrows from sawn blanks was definitely a thing and that PF is not far off the mark. I would put the 10 in 4 days as the low end as long as the arrow heads are prepared. I would allow some kind of check to do better and I would allow it in the field as long as one had a secure area to camp.


Just let a character trained in Crafting craft mundane things like ammunition in the same way you purchase it.

Sure there is a limit to how many arrowheads you can produce in a day, but as long as this number never means you run out of ammunition during a combat, you never need to define it.

And the game definitely is not balanced with a risk of running out of ammunition in mind.

That is, the second you ask your players to track ammunition usage, with the intent that you can actually run out, you should probably also add a rule where melee weapons get broken whenever you roll a 1, or something.

Also keep in mind Pathfinder 2 is at default setting a highly magical game. Heroes can gain magical weaponry as early as level 2, and are pretty much required to have them at level 5 at the very latest. Also, players get rich so quickly that ammunition costs are trivial already by level 2.

So my personal recommendation is to skip ammunition counting altogether; saving it for a far grittier and more down-to-earth game.

Just assume archers have unlimited and free ammo: zero cost, zero weight. It will break nothing; it will give out no unfair advantages.

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Yes, that's a very different question to what the original poster asked.
The question becomes one of accounting - do we need to track ammunition use at all?

One of Gary Gygax's pet games was "Outdoor Survival" and the underlying mechanism involved tracking food and water acquisition and use. Fast forward to today's RPGs, and you still find traces of this in the ways that we track equipment inventories with rations and water skins. The question becomes whether RPG players actually enjoy tracking such things.

It turns out that we have created many mechanisms for abstracting resources so that we don't have to keep a fine accounting of materials used in our games. Spellcasters have material component pouches where we just assume that the spellcaster replenishes his supplies of bat guano, feathers and whatever other materials he needs to cast his spells. Healers have healer's tools which are a "kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools" that the healer is assumed to replenish over time without needing to track the expenditure of rolls of bandages and doses of various herbs.

All this represents systems of abstraction intended to reduce or eliminate the accounting load placed on players. Abstracting ammunition use is just another step in this direction. Do you require players to mark off ammunition use as they fire their bows, crossbows, slings and other weapons that use ammunition? And track their purchase or craft replacement ammunition?

My experience is that players aren't really interested in keeping track of such minutiae and it's just easier to assume that their characters replenish their supply of ammunition in the same way that spellcasters and healers assume their characters replenish their supply of spell ingredients and healing supplies. They already have more than enough inventory to track, keeping lists of stuff so that they know whether they have torches, rope, iron spikes or whatever on hand when they need it during their dungeon crawl, city adventure or wilderness trek.

I'm not a big fan of accounting. I don't have characters starve to death because they forgot to add rations to their list of equipment, and I don't like the idea of characters being unable to fire their bow because they forgot to stock up on arrows the last time they were in town. It all comes down to the level of abstraction you are willing to accept in order for your game to proceed.

So the question of how many days your character needs to spend to craft additional sets of ten arrows becomes moot if you accept an additional level of accountancy abstraction.


They already have more than enough inventory to track, keeping lists of stuff so that they know whether they have torches, rope, iron spikes or whatever on hand when they need it during their dungeon crawl, city adventure or wilderness trek.
First off, I have zero problems with a DM asking a player to track supplies if that player enjoys this.

I can only speak of generalities. Such as "a game like PF2 is not geared towards mundane challenges like rations anywhere close to some other, equally worthy, but very different game". Maybe Five Torches Deep; I'm actually not that well versed in low fantasy gaming.

As for your post, I'd agree except that I would by "already have more than enough inventory to track" mean daily abilities, spell slots, magic items. Tracking whether you're still eligible for Battle Medicine the current day, for instance. Or which Talisman you've affixed to which weapon, and if you used it last combat or if it's still available? Which spell is in which slot? Etc etc etc

That is, the life of a Pathfinder 2 hero is maybe already complicated enough even if we completely wipe away every mundane need for accounting, even if we just assume ropes, grappling hooks, winter coats, torches magically appear just when we need them.

In a game not already overflowing with feats, situational bonuses and magic doodads up your wazoo there is much more brain capacity available for tracking gallons of water, number of sling stones, and exactly how many lengths of rope the party has access to.

Again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing this. I'm saying Pathfinder 2 perhaps already has you track and account enough things?

Especially when we take into account the exponential wealth of the game. The question of being able to afford most mundane supplies, including food, boarding, your entire standard of living, are entirely trivialized already as early as level 2!

Good luck with your gaming!
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That could be one way to make firearms different from bows, but its a rather uncommon use case.
Making bullets is very quick and easy. Only making gunpowder is impossible in the field, but can be done in bulk in a mill.

Just imagine how much work it took to supply a army of 1000 archers with enough arrows for a campaign.

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