Whether you want to cook your own meals, repair your rusty armor, or make yourself some new jewelry, crafting is where its at. So here's a basic primer for developing any Disciples of the Hand class in A Realm Reborn.
CP is like your mp or tp, it is your finite resource for using crafting skills. Starting out you have 180 CP. You'll find this as a stat on gear, usually accessories.
Quality = the % chance that the item you craft will be an HQ version instead of a regular version of the item. You can boost the probablity of HQ with certain crafting skills and by initiating the synth using HQ materials. How well you can increase quality is ruled by the stat: Control. You will get more xp by raising the Quality % of an item.
Durability = a finite lifespan of the item being crafted, each action you take that alters progress or quality, whether successful or not, will consume 10% of the item's durability. If it hits 0% durability and progress has not made 100%, the synth fails and some of the the materials may be lost- the crystal(s) for sure.
Progress = the amount of progress towards completion of the item being crafted. This is ruled by the stat: Craftsmanship.
The first few abilities from my experience Weaving.....
Standard Synthesis- The first ability only adds Progress. You can increase the power (amount of progress/use) by increasing your Crafting skill via levels and gear with +Craftsmanship. This costs 0 CP. Later on you will get a weaker version of this skill, Careful Synthesis that does 80% of the progress of Standard Synthesis but has 100% success rate.
Basic Touch - The second ability only adds to Quality. You can increase the success power of this skill by increasing your Control stat. This costs 24 CP. The next tier up, Standard Touch, costs 38 CP, but has greater efficiency and success rate.
Master's Mend - This ability lets you restore 30 points of Durability. This consumes a lot of your CP however (I think 96). So its really helps stretch out your skill to craft recipes that are tougher for your level using just standard synthesis, or may help assure there's enough Durability for you to get a couple of Basic Touch's in.
Steady Hand - The 4th ability raises your success rate of the next 5 actions taken by 10%. (The text description lies!)
Observe - This let's you just skip a step and do nothing.
Inner Quiet - This grants a creeping bonus that raises your Control with each successful Touch ability.
Great Strides - This ability really lets you start to achieve some quality. It doubles the potency of your next Touch ability. It will last for 3 steps, but is used up on a successful Touch.
Between these abilities and depending on the level of the recipe relative to your crafting level and the durability of the item, you'll find that different combinations of these abilities offer varying levels of quality. Your goal is to get in as much quality as you can without failing the synth. Don't forget you can cross class skills from different crafts!
Every step you take in crafting an item, it has a condition that is rated as either Normal, Good, Excellent, or Poor. This is a bonus or penalty to Quality-enhancing skills. Good condition gives a slightly above average boost to Quality when using a Touch ability (the crafting tool's glowing orb is red instead of white). Excellent condition gives a huge boost to Quality should you successfully use a Touch Ability (crafting tool orb color alternates). Excellent is always followed by a Poor status, which penalizes Quality achieved from Touch abilities. So what does this mean? It means you may start to stretch out the crafting game using abilities that repair the item, recover your CP, and try to land your Touches in Good and Excellent conditions when you can.
Some other tips:
You get more XP for raising the Quality% even if the resulting item is normal quality. Crafting food can add CP and Craftsmanship or Control, plus the usual +3% XP bonus. Rested xp also applies.
HQ's of raw materials used for higher level recipes should be held onto- Leathers, Cloths, Rivets, Logs, etc. Either use them for when you want to HQ something more significant, or sell them in stacks for profit. You can also complete some basic fetch/kill stuff/run around town quests after changing job to your DoH/DoL class to have them get the reward instead of your DoW/DoM that did the legwork. Do this by taking your DoH/DoL to a starter city where those early quests have not been used up (unless you'd rather save those for another DoW or DoM class).
/clog is the text command for opening the crafting log. You can macro this and stick it on the hotbar along with other things like your crafting food of choice. I believe you can do the same with gearsets....so eventually you might have a tuned +craftsmanship set and a tuned +control set, depending on what you are attempting to achieve with a particular synth.
Early on, shop for or use other crafts to build yourself a full set of basic crafting gear. From what I've seen so far Blacksmithing will let you create most of your own (HQ) tools. Weaving generally has most of the wearable crafting/control body pieces, with a mix of Weaving, Leatherworking, and even Carpentry for some of the other slots. Goldsmithing has most of the accessories slots.
Keep the main/secondary tools up to date as they're one of the few sources of +craftsmanship. You often are rewarded crafting gear and tools by the guild for finishing quests, but not nearly enough for every slot. So if you craft diversely, you should be able to make your own crafting gear and eventually some HQ gear, as well as get the ability to put crafting materia into it.
Shop for or Mine/Harvest crystal shards. You'll need tons of them. They're easy to obtain, so don't waste gil on them until prices normalize. The same goes for the Dark Matter needed for repairing gear yourself. Carbonized Matter for materia melding first becomes available for Miner/Botanist with great gear around level 16.
Each recipe gives you bonus XP the 1st time you finish it, so its worthwhile to craft everything in the recipe list once. Banked up leve allowances are a great way to get xp on a craft. Find a recipe where materials are easy to come by/cheap. Find a level-appropriate levequest with a good XP reward that doesn't require a whole lot of travel. Gather up a supply of mats & craft a bunch of the item. Its a good idea to figure out the rough xp/synth + leve XP reward so you know how many synths until you level up. Accept the leve, deliver the item, return to levemete, and repeat until you can move up to the next +5 level levequest. Also note that turning in all HQ items, gives a 200% xp bonus and does not consume the leve allotment. You can immediately repeat it without using another allotment.
If you carry a decent supply of materials with you, you can craft while waiting for a group invite- both dungeon finder and standard online status let you specify the class/job you're seeking on.
Macros - You can write macros for some basic crafting, if you find that you're using the same abilities/steps for simple recipes. Note that you'll probably change this macro a lot as you level, and will probably only use it on refining materials like cutting logs into lumber and smelting ingots, making yarn and cloth, etc. At least I find a macro handy for that stuff. Also by automating a synth, you might miss out on taking advantage of Good/Excellent conditions. On the other hand if you find the Quality comes out the same as manually crafting most of the time, a macro might help things feel like they're going faster when you want to make a big stack of ingots or cloth or logs or whatever.
/ac "Crafting Ability Name" <me>
/ac "Next Crafting Ability Name" <me>
/ac "Next Crafting Ability Name" <me>
Early level crafting gear:
If you make your own crafting gear, you can HQ it for even greater bonuses. Also, cycle it out once solubound so you can convert some of it to crafting materia. Once you get some crafts above 19 you can start melding the materia onto your gear, and if you've been replacing/converting basic crafting pieces once they soulbind, you should get a lot of it.
Tools (craftsmanship & control): Too many to list. Blacksmithing makes most of them.
Head (control): Leather Calot > Hempen Nandana > Amateur's Headgear
Body (craftsmanship & control): Hempen Kurta > Hempen Shepard's Tunic > Amateur's Kurta
Legs (control): Hempen Breeches of Crafting > Hempen Chausses > Hempen Bottoms
Hands (control): Hempen Halfgloves > Hempen Shortgloves > Amateur's Smithing Gloves
Feet (control): Maple Clogs > Mapel Pattens > Amateur's Thighboots
Ring (CP): Ring of Fortune (get this by answering "To amass a fortune" in the game's intro cutscene) > Brass Ring of Crafting
Neck (CP): Copper Choker > Brass Choker
Wrists (CP): Brass Wristlets of Crafting
Waist (control): Merchant's Purse > Hard Leather Merchant's Pouch