Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In 3.5e D&D, what is the DC for Crafting an arrow or quiver of arrows? The table on p71 of the PHB gives DCs of 5, 10, 15 and 20 for a Very Simple, Typical, High Quality and Complex/Superior Item, respectively. I would normally figure an arrow to be a Typical Item for a bowmaker but the text for Minor Creation (p253, referenced in the description of the Craft skill) says:

You must succeed on an appropriate skill check to make a complex item, such as a Craft (bowmaking) check to make straight arrow shafts.

Can anyone offer their opinion and/or rules from other sources?

I'd like to run a game based on Minecraft's Survival mode, with heavy emphasis on things like mining, harvesting and crafting, but I'm having a tough time setting DCs.

share|improve this question
Thanks for cleaning up the Blockquote. I don't know why that didn't work--all I did was click the quote button on the editor and type. –  cr0m Oct 29 '10 at 16:20
Some browsers (notably Chrome) have bugs that interfere with the editor buttons. No worries, since someone's always around willing to tweak questions. :) –  SevenSidedDie Oct 29 '10 at 17:00
@SevenSidedDie I use chrome, so that's probably it. –  cr0m Oct 29 '10 at 17:02
Ah. Then just stick a > in front of a line you want blockquoted and it's all good. That's all the button is supposed to do. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 29 '10 at 18:10
@SevenSidedDie Thanks! –  cr0m Oct 29 '10 at 19:10

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to the d20srd, 20 arrows cost 1 gp.

The thread here indicates DC 12 as a consensus:

I would cost out arrows individually at a base price of 2 cp each to make. The actual number is something like 1.6, but 2 is just so much easier for calculations.

I'd use a DC 12 for the skill check. This is because arrows are "complex items" according to the Craft description and making them correctly is a skilled job - yes, as skilled as making the bow itself.

Base Price of Arrow (1): 5 cp

Cost To Make: 2 cp

Craft DC: 12

Craft Check (assuming +10 and a roll of 10) [It is possible to take 10 on a craft check, and silly not to]: 20 * 12 = 240 (cp)

Arrows/day: 48

I'd assume "a day" represents 12 hours of hard graft, which means that the whole thing can be broken down nicely into hours. Wanna spend 1 hour making arrows? Fine, assuming the above numbers, you make 4 arrows and it costs 8 cp (buying 4 would cost you 2 sp, so it's not quite a third).

Masterwork: You still need to make the normal arrow as per above.

Base Price of MW Arrow (1): 600 cp (price taken from the equipment chapter) Cost To Make: 200 cp Craft DC: 20 Craft Check (assuming +10 and a role of 10): 20 * 20 = 400 (cp) MW Arrows/day: 2 thirds (or 1.3 days to complete 1)

A bow takes DC 12 to make, a composite bow takes DC 15. Because arrows aren't different for composite or regular bows and are "complex" items, 12 is the consensus there. DC 15 if you want to count them equivalent to "martial thrown weapons" but it seems counterintuitive to have an arrow be more difficult to make than the bow.

Edit. Thread on community.wizards.com saying the same thing.

share|improve this answer
Great thread, thanks. I'm confused about one thing though: I can see that the consensus from that thread is DC 12. However, it doesn't follow that the reason the consensus is DC 12 is because an arrow is a "complex" item. Complex items are DC 20 by the book/SRD. That's what caught my attention in the first place, in the spell description for Minor Creation. Is an arrow really as complex an item as a lock (the example given in the rules)? Meanwhile, this is still a good answer--I'm comfortable with DC 12 reached by group "feel". –  cr0m Oct 29 '10 at 16:27
Technically, there shouldn't be a bowyer skill at all, considering the breadth of the weaponsmith skill (which includes quarterstaves). Becuase they're weapons, they could be formalized under the thrown weapon rules, DC 15. And arrows are difficult to get right, there's the shaft, head, fletching, and binding. They're just not very complex. However this comment is verging into houserule territory and the simple "it isn't more difficult to make than the weapon it's for" seems reasonable. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 29 '10 at 23:30
Eh, quarterstaves are easy to make and far more related to weapon hafts than to a bow. Making an English longbow or a laminated bow is an entirely different discipline, even historically. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 30 '10 at 0:24
True... It's just the "everything (including crossbows) but bows" seems a bit silly to me. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 30 '10 at 4:12
The more I read and think about this, the "arrows shouldn't be tougher than bows to make" rationale works just fine for me. –  cr0m Oct 30 '10 at 23:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.