Casters at higher levels often have the problem that they need different costly material components. Two of those are diamonds and diamond dust. If one only has whole diamonds the spell fabricate should help with changing that.

But how much worth in dust would you gain? The crafting rules assume a 1/3 ratio but that would mean one of two things: Either you get more dust (in weight) than you had in diamonds or the dust is worth more than the whole diamonds, which is counterinuitive.

If I cast fabricate on a 100gp diamond, how much ist the resulting diamond dust worth?


2 Answers 2


It is worth 100gp. Don't overthink it.

Although in reality taking a valuable diamond and turning it into powder would likely reduce its total value, D&D/Pathfinder does not model prices of luxury items in that much detail. Instead the spell component cost is supposed to be a mechanical transaction that limits number of castings of a spell. You input 100gp of funds (plus in the narrative it is reasonable to obtain the precise component you need), you can cast the spell.

As an aside: Would a craftsman be able to turn 100gp diamond into more than 100gp of diamond dust? No, the starting material and end material have to make sense in order for the craftsman's work to have added value as per the rules.

The Pathfinder craft rules are at best guidelines to enable characters to attempt to fix and make things. They are left open-ended about what is allowed or not, and include DM assessments of item complexity for instance. I would personally say that creating diamond dust from a diamond is not at all complex, nothing relevant to any Craft is being "made" and therefore it does not require a Craft check. The idea that it might take many weeks of effort for a skilled jeweller to turn a diamond into dust seems very wrong too.

If completely arbitrary transformations were allowed to gain value in combination with Craft and/or Fabricate, you could start with e.g. 10gp worth of raw gold, convert that into powder, convert the powder into jewellery, convert that back into something else (maybe just powder again, after all melting and forming gold is typical real-world crafting process) etc, until you have 10,000gp or more in funds.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If this is true a person using craft (jewlery) or Profession (jewler) using her skill and tools to turn the diamond to dust would generate dust worth 100gp, too. That's contrary to how the crafting system works. If the component was a diamond worth 100gp then the above crafter could make it from an unworked diamond worth 33,34gp. And a caster with fabricate could use his spell to do the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – Umbranus
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 11:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Umbranus: Well no, even in the crafting system you cannot turn arbitrary components into arbitrary higher value articles. It has to make some kind of sense that you are adding value. And that is going to depend on logic/type of thing being made. Turning something into powder does not add value in most cases. The same jeweler with maybe 90gp raw diamond and 10gp worth of platinum could maybe make a necklace or ring worth more than the sum of its parts perhaps . . . although even that could break the game system if allowed without consideration of what was being transformed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 12:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater you've already broken the system by blatantly disregarding its very clear text on that matter. Perhaps the system is broken to start off with, but it's still the system. You should note that what you are suggesting is a radical departure from the rules text involved in order to hopefully avoid wealth pumping. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer: Could you reference the "very clear text" that covers crushing diamonds to make diamond dust, so I could check and link it in the answer? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Added emphasis: "raw materials required to craft the item" - the spell assumes you are performing a craft. Using it to perform non-craft transformations and then interpreting them by a reading of the craft rules is what is leading to nonsense and breakage. IMO, craft is loosely-defined, and requires DM adjudication. Your assertion is essentially that "craft" includes such things as crushing an object into dust, because there is no explicit rule that says that is not the case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 10:27

It's worth 300 gp

The Fabricate spell states that its material component is:

the original material, which costs the same amount as the raw materials required to craft the item to be created

and from the Crafting rules we know that you:

Pay 1/3 of the item’s price for the raw material cost.

So in Pathfinder, Fabricate always triples the value of the materials used in its casting. In your example, using Fabricate upon your diamonds would convert them to triple value (300 gp), provided the output dust is small enough to fit the output volume requirements of the spell (1 cubic foot of such dust per level).

This is similar to the result of grinding the gems into dust by hand, which would also triple the value, except that doing it that way takes almost two and a half weeks of work, even for a crafter with a take-10 Craft result of 35 who voluntarily increases the complexity of the task from 5 to 35. The big gain here is time. Fabricate lets you craft items that don't require much skill to make but nonetheless would take mundane crafters longer than the age of the earth to craft in a matter of seconds or minutes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So if you cast fabricate again, and turn the dust back into a diamond, is the same sized diamond now worth 900gp? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik No, it's probably not the same size. What causes a diamond to have value is unclear under the rules, though you have to pick something (even if, like you are suggesting, you choose to pick nothing beyond arbitrary assignment). If its value is coming exclusively from being a diamond (and not, for example, because of its 'fine craftsmanship or similar'), it likely has a price by weight, like adamantine, steel, gold, and other similar trade goods do. There's a number of different RAW-compliant solutions, but I find a price per weight works best. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would it be hollow then? I don't think Fabricate could create more weight, it has the same dust to work with, so there's still an equal amount of diamond between castings. It's just worth more now. If you were to cast Fabricate a third time, and convert the new diamond into dust again, the same dust as after the first casting would be worth 2,700 gp. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer presupposes all transformations are crafting. There is no rules support for that \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater no transformations are crafting, even those that require craft checks. The material component is merely a smaller value of material than the spell's product, as clearly stated in the spell and clearly spelled out in the crafting rules. There's really no ambiguity here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 9:07

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