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You can use the Craft skill to repair an item:

Repair an Item

You can repair an item by making checks against the same DC that it took to make the item in the first place. The cost of repairing an item is one-fifth of the item’s price.

Action: Craft checks are made by the day or week (see above).

Retry? Yes, but each time you miss by 5 or more, you ruin half the raw materials and have to pay half the original raw material cost again.

What does that actually mean? There seems to be a pretty crucial piece of the puzzle missing here: namely, what actually happens based on this check?

But wait! It gets more confusing!

The broken condition itself seems to have completely different rules:

Non-magical items can be repaired [...] through the Craft skill used to create it. Generally speaking, this requires a DC 20 Craft check and 1 hour of work per point of damage to be repaired. Most craftsmen charge one-tenth the item’s total cost to repair such damage (more if the item is badly damaged or ruined).

This seems reasonably clear, but it’s totally different from what the Craft skill itself says.

Moreover, the rules for sundering seem somewhat unclear on precisely what remains of an item destroyed (reduced to 0 or fewer HP, rather than merely the less-than-half that triggers the broken condition). Is that what the Repair an Item use of the Craft skill is for? Maybe, but that doesn’t actually seem to be stated anywhere. In fact, so far as I can tell, the rules seem to imply that a destroyed item simply no longer exists, has nothing left, not even dust. As one friend put it, the item has “entered the rules hole.”

I feel pretty comfortable reading and interpreting Pathfinder’s rules, but I’m seriously at a loss with this. Is anyone aware of any rules I’ve missed, or any clarification, errata, or developer explanation? For reference, I really need to know what the rules themselves actually are, or failing that, a real consensus among the Pathfinder community, because this is for a third-party product that needs to be compatible with Pathfinder. Hard to do that when I don’t even know how Pathfinder is supposed to work in this regard. As such, personal experience or preference is not useful to me, and cannot make an acceptable answer to this question, unless you can demonstrate that your approach is a widely-used one or something.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I look forward to see what this dregs up. I've never had a group need to repair items (in my experience few people even use the natural 1 on a save vs magical damage damages and item as well). I was considering it before, but not enough to answer unfortunately... what would constitute widely-used, though? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Feb 24 '17 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso I dunno, if you could link to a bunch of threads on prominent Pathfinder-discussing forums showing a lot of agreement, that might be something. It’s not my preferred answer, though, basically for exactly the reason you describe—really hard to demonstrate. Most tables have probably never considered it before; like yours, mine never had. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 24 '17 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan is exegesis appropriate? I think the mending and make whole spells give a better idea of what repairing stuff does and what that means, but while that would be an argument from the rules I'm not sure how well it'd fit your purpose because arguments from the rules are not necessarily representative of normal play experience (at least from what I've seen). That said, the conclusions don't seem wildly inappropriate like 3.5 drown healing or anything like that. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 24 '17 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ In particular I would be noting carryover rules that are unedited from 3.5 and both the 3.5 and pathfinder versions of various relevant things to build an idea of what the 'Pathfinder' paradigm indicates about how this should be handled as well as what the current state of the rules says is how it does happen. Is that something you'd be interested in? \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 24 '17 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I ALWAYS use repair rules on my tables, either the players will break something and need it repaired later, or the monster will break one of their equipment. But everytime i bring up the tale of "this will take a few days", they either try to use Mending (up to 1lb/level) or simply buy a new item as soon as possible. We might have used the repair rules maybe three times all these years. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 24 '17 at 21:16
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Both rules are correct

You can pick which method you want to work with:

  • Repair 1 hp per hour at a time;
  • Repair the item completely taking a longer period of time.

If you have a longsword (hardness 10, 5 hp, price 3 gp) will gain the broken condition after 3 points of damage, and is destroyed at 5 points of damage. For our example, let's assume our longsword took 3 hp damage.

Using the Craft(Weapons) skill, we first turn that 3 gp into 30 sp to calculate the repairing progress. And we must spend at least 6 sp on raw materials. The DC to repair a martial weapon is 15, so with a +5 bonus on this check (which is not difficult to obtain), a Take-10 results on 225 sp (15 * 15) worth of "crafting" progress done in a week. Since that is way past our milestone, we can instead use a daily tracking score, or 32 sp of progress per day (225/7). In other words, this repair can be done in a day, regardless of the damage on our sword.

If we use this calculator to check the progress by day, we will see that it takes 0.9 of a day to repair it, which means that it didnt even take all 8-hours of downtime necessary to repair it, but something along 7-or-so hours.

Using the broken condition rule for repairing, we can fix 1 hp damage per hour of work, and this would cost 3 sp on materials. This is 50% of our previous method), but the DC is 20 instead of 15, much more difficult. We now need a total bonus of +10 to make this check, which will require some skills or masterworks tools and a maybe proper forge. Anyway, Each hour of work repairs 1 point of damage, so we would take one hour repairing our longsword and the broken condition is removed, and we could spend another two hours to repair the last 2 hp damage, but that's not necessary for the sword to be useable again.

If we are talking about a an item with a lot of hp, like broken breastplate (30 hp total, broken at 16 damage), it would cost 40 sp and take 8 days on method #1, while it would cost 20 sp and take at least 16 hours (2 work days) on method #2.

So, you basically have two methods of doing things, paying extra and taking longer but doing a good job, or being cheap and rushing things for a quicker fix.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m sorry, but I find this utterly unconvincing. There certainly does appear to be two separate rules for this, but it is not at all clear to me that they are intended to be two alternative ways to accomplish the same thing and left up to the crafter to decide which approach to take. Something like that would be something I would expect the rules to explain, not merely be the result of assumptions made on finding two completely separate rules in completely separate places. I will need to see statements to that effect explaining the two sets as alternatives to accept this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 24 '17 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The threads i found on paizo's boards are as clueless as we are, the best i found was some design ideas back on alpha playtesting which did already point out the issues with the craft skill. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 24 '17 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ My main problem with my answer is that i could not come up with the cost for making the repairs on method #2 (broken condition's). That 1/10 could be both the materials cost, the service cost, or both and we would have no idea how much it would cost to do that ourselves. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 24 '17 at 21:58

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