Artisans are talented craftspersons you can induce to enter your service, typically by finding them, meeting some condition of theirs, then crafting them a workshop in one of your villages. After that, your artisan will start crafting various items for you, and since some of the best items in the game can be obtained from your artisans, it makes a whole lot of sense to put in the effort to recruit and appease them.
A list of artisans and their general roles can be found below:
|Bokken||Alchemist||Oleg’s Trading Post (Outskirts)|
|Dragn||Armorsmith||Village (Southern Narlmarches)|
|Shaynih’a||Exotic Weaponsmith||Village (Southern Narlmarches)|
While the methods for obtaining the services of each artisan is different, most can be recruited by talking to them and completing a task for them - usually a fairly simple one, if we’re being honest. If this sounds simple, it is, but many artisans can only be found in villages you found in various regions, meaning you have to meet the preconditions for claiming the region they’re in, construct a village, then actually go through the effort of visiting them. All this effectively means many artisans can only be recruited as you advance the main story, raise your Kingdom Stats and complete certain quests.
Specifics for recruiting each artisan can be found below, as well as on their own artisan page:
Bokken: Bokken is the character who introduces you to the concept of artisans. At the start of Chapter 2 you’ll get the Kingdom Quest The Court Alchemist, which instructs you to head north to Oleg’s Trading Post and recruit Bokken. Build a village in the Outskirts area, visit Bokken at Oleg’s Trading Post and he should join right up. Be sure to build Bokken’s Alchemical Shop in your Outskirts village to actually get him started on crafting his first item for you.
Dragn: Complete the main quest Troll Trouble, claim the Southern Narlmarches and found a village anywhere in that region. Dragn will visit you in your throne room and ask for you to pay reparations on the roads his ancestors built. These reparations come in the form of building him a workshop in your village in the Southern Narlmarches. Once Dragn’s Armor Shop is constructed he should start automatically crafting his first item for you.
[Shaynih’a]: Complete the main quest Troll Trouble, claim the Southern Narlmarches and found a village anywhere in that region. Visit this village with Linzi in your party and talk to Shaynih’a to start - and finish - the errand Author Wanted, which simultaneously quash Shaynih’a’s dreams of becoming a storyteller and convince her to work for you. Build Shaynih’a’s Shop of Exotic Curiosities in your Southern Narlmarches village and she’ll begin crafting items for you.
A lot of aspects of Pathfinder: Kingmaker are… obtuse, to put it lightly, and when it comes to how artisans function, things are more under-the-hood than usual. We’ll try to explain how all this works under the following headers.
Artisan Crafting - Initial Crafting
After you recruit an artisan and build their workshop, they’ll automatically start crafting an item for you. The first item they create is randomly chosen from all the possible items they can currently craft, and will take roughly 3-7 weeks for them to finish. When finished they’ll present the item to you when you’re in your throne room.
After receiving your first item, you can ask your artisan to craft you an item from a specific category, or just let them create another item at random. If you choose to have your artisan focus on something, they will not be able to craft their masterpiece (only a concern when your artisan is capable of crafting high-tier items), and they’ll have a higher chance of crafting lower-tier items… basically a trade-off between getting an item type that you want at the expense of having a higher chance of getting a lower-tier item.
All subsequent items crafted after the first will take between roughly 9 and 16 weeks. If a masterpiece is started, it’ll take 180 days to create.
Artisan Crafting - Item Types
As mentioned above, each artisan can be allowed to randomly craft an item, or you can request that they craft an item of a specific type, choosing, of course, among the item types each artisan specializes in. Sometimes these categories are a specific weapon type (Shaynih’a can be directed to specifically craft bastard swords, for example, while some are broader (Nazrielle can be directed to craft “swords” in general or “elven items) while other categories are basically any item that doesn’t fit into other categories (Bokken’s “alchemical items’’ includes rings, gloves, a belt and a mace). Not only is there some flexibility for exact item types within some categories, but there are different tiers of items artisans can craft, depending on how developed your kingdom is and what you’ve done to appease said artisan. More on that later, but immediately following you’ll find a list of all the different categories of items each artisan can be instructed to craft:
|Bokken||Alchemical Items, Oils, Potions|
|Dragn||Axes, Crossbows, Hammers, Dwarven items, Plate armors, Shields|
|Shaynih’a||Kamas, Bastard Swords, Fauchards, Falcatas, Sling Staffs, Dueling Swords, Estocs, Heavy Crossbows, Sai, Tongis|
When you direct an artisan to craft a specific item for you, it’ll preclude any chance of them working on their masterpiece until said item is crafted. This is only a concern if your artisan is capable of crafting high-tier items. The tier of crafted items also varies depending on whether you left it up to the artisan to craft an item at random, or directed them to craft a specific type of item, as follows:
|Random Item Crafting Chance|
|One Tier Lower||70%|
|Two Tiers Lower||20%|
|Specific Item Crafting Chance|
|One Tier Lower||45%|
|Two Tiers Lower||25%|
As you can see, an artisan can only craft an item up to their current tier of expertise, but also potentially one or two tiers below that. If you direct an artisan to craft a specific item, the chances of you getting one at the artisan’s current tier is a mere 10%, while if you leave it random your odds of getting a current tier item are as high as 30%… but the exact item type will be random. Suffice to say, it takes a bit of luck to get a specific high-tier item, so if you’re dead set on acquiring, say, the Redeemer longsword… good luck. You’ll need it.
Let’s finish up by discussing these crafting tiers.
Artisan Crafting - Crafting Tiers
Each artisan can craft six different tiers of items, starting at tier 0 when they join you and ultimately reaching tier 5. An artisan’s crafting tier can be raised in a variety of ways, generally including raising specific Kingdom Stats, building their workshop and completing their unique quest. Generally, the higher tier an item is, the more powerful it is. It should be noted, as per the tables above, that getting a current-tier item from an artisan is fairly rare (between 10% and 30% chance, depending if you instruct them to craft a specific item or allow them to randomly craft, respectively), and an artisan can craft an item up to their current tier, but will often craft an item a tier or two below their current maximum.
Consult the following table for conditions that modify an artisan’s tier:
|Build Workshop||Specific Artisan Tier +1|
|Complete Chapter 4||All Artisan Tiers +2|
|Finish Artisan Quest||Specific Artisan Tier +1|
|Arcane Rank 4||Bokken Tier +1|
|Loyalty Rank 3||Bokken Tier +1|
|Loyalty Rank 6||Bokken Tier +1|
|Complete projects subsequent to Letter from Brevoy||Bokken Tier +1|
|Complete “Restoration of Bronzeshield Fortress” project||Dragn, Shaynih’a Tier +1|