I have problems calculating the costs for a Hell-knight plate which is crafted based upon the Pathfinder Unchained Rules and using a special raw material (Easily Worked steel).

A Hell-knight plate costs 2000 gp off the shelf, the weight is 50 pounds.

The Unchained Rules state, that you have to "acquire raw materials whose value is equal to 1/4 the cost of the item or items you wish to craft", in this case 500 gp.

The price per pound for Easily Worked steel is given in the table "Special Raw Material Costs": 8 gp for use as trade good, or 4 gp for use in crafting.

Following the line of reasoning provided in another answer on this platform regarding the use of special raw materials, one can apply the 4 gp/pound as price for the acquisition of the needed special raw material.

As the armor weighs 50 pounds, this would result in (special) raw material costs of 200 gp. But this is much less than the costs for "regular" raw material (500 gp). I would assume, that using higher quality raw material would result in higher costs.

What is the correct way to calculate the costs using "Easily Worked" steel?


1 Answer 1


How to calculate Special Raw Material Costs

1. Calculate the crafting cost of our item

In the Unchained Crafting Rules it says:

After you have a suitable area to craft and you’ve gathered your tools, you must then acquire raw materials whose value is equal to 1/4 the cost of the item or items you wish to craft.

So we look at the item you want to craft, in this case, Hellknight Plate. Regular Hellknight Plate has a cost of 2000gp normally, which means it has a crafting cost of 500gp.

2. Get the raw materials

Normally for crafting, this would simply be going out and purchasing 500gp worth of raw materials. In this case though, since you want to use Special Raw Materials, you need to purchase enough that their crafting cost (not purchase cost) is equal to the craft cost of your item.

In this case you would need purchase 1000gp worth of Easily Worked Steel, since that is equal to a crafting cost of 500gp. If your GM had given some out as loot during your adventuring, you could use it and thus reduce the amount you spend on material.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So in order to craft the same armor with Pure Steel, I would need to purchase 750 gp worth of Pure Steel? \$\endgroup\$
    – Razz
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Razz no, you'd need to purchase 1000gp worth of Pure Steel, since that has a crafting cost of 500gp. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pure Steel is cheaper than Easily Worked Steel, as shown in table "Special Raw Material Costs" of the Pathfinder Unchained Rules. Why doesn't this reflect in the amount of gp needed to be spent for the acquisition of special raw material? \$\endgroup\$
    – Razz
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 20:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Razz "Special raw materials’ crafting costs are always half their actual cost." \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Where the price difference does come into effect is where the GM awards you special raw materials as loot. Let's say he gave you flawless mithral, that would contribute 400gp towards the creation cost of a mithral item. If he instead gave you Malleable Mithral, that would only be 250gp towards the creation of a mithral item. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 20:19

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