Craft

EX2’s rules on crafting are as follows:

CRAFT

Trait Description: Craft allows characters to create both useful and beautiful objects. Highly skilled craftspeople can create impressive masterworks, though a character must use Charms if he wishes to create masterworks rapidly or with ordinary or substandard materials. There are five mundane Craft Abilities, each associated with one of the five elements. Several exotic varieties exist as well, such as Craft (Magitech), which applies to the wonders of the First Age, and Craft (Glamour) and Craft (Fate), which are practiced only by supernatural beings. The five ordinary Craft Abilities are:

• Air: calligraphy, jewellery-making, creating precision instruments and glassblowing (making small, decorative or high-precision items)

• Earth: masonry, stone cutting, creating earthworks (creating buildings and large objects with stone or earth)

• Fire: blacksmithing, making ceramics (forging and casting large metal objects and creating objects using fi re)

• Wood: carpentry, weaving, paper-making, flower arranging (carving, weaving and manipulating natural materials)

• Water: cooking, brewing, leather working, pharmacy and poison-making (boiling and cooking plants, chemicals and animal materials)

Note: All mundane crafts performed by ordinary mortals fi t into one of these five categories.

Specialties: Specific Individual Crafts—sword-making (Fire), gem-cutting (Air), perfume-making (Water); Evaluating Goods

Trait Effects: Someone with Craft (Wood) 1 can probably construct a rude hut. Someone with Craft (Fire) 3 can make an exceptional sword. Someone with Craft (Air) 5 can create pieces of jewellery that vain nobles will literally kill to own.

How do you see this working in LotP?  Will a PC be able to craft/improve their own weapons or will this be restricted to NPCs?

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~ by minmaxnz on June 27, 2013.

19 Responses to “Craft”

  1. From our own character generation document:

    Craft allows characters to create both useful and beautiful objects. Highly skilled craftspeople can create impressive masterworks. There are five mundane Craft Abilities, each associated with one of the five elements. Fire deals with metal & fire, Earth deals with buildings and structrures, Water Crafts are cooking and brewing, Air concerns precision or decorative items, while Wood deals with carving or maintaining natural materials like cane or wood.
    Specialties: Sword-smith (Fire), Stonecutter (Earth), Calligraphy (Air), Poisons (Water), Tanning (Wood).

    Slight differences, but largely the same. For actual rules about creating items, such as weapons, check the Exalted rulebook p.133-134. Disregard artifact creation for now, but the rules for crafting mundane items appear to be fully compatible with our setting and system

    Can PC’s craft objects? Sure, given time and resources. Can PC’s craft exceptional gear that is better than normal? Sure, given time and resources.

    Can PC’s craft magical gear? Maybe. It would take extra resources, research and some kind of magical ritual. The actual crafting of a magical item would probably be outside the scope of normal campaign play, taking place in the downtime between stories.

  2. Lets use Azo as an example (using the sheet you sent me) to craft an axe.

    Under the current Panoply section (which has not been properly revised yet) and axe is Wealth 1. Also, lets assume that Azo’s Craft ability is Craft (Fire). Normally an axe would require both Craft (Wood) and Craft (Fire) but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll set that aside.

    An normal quality axe would require 1 week and Wealth 0 in materials, which raises an interesting point I’ll get to later. Suffice to say the materials would not be free. Azo would roll (lowest of Dex, Per or Int) + Craft (Fire), giving him a pool of 3 dice against a difficulty of 1.

    Deliberately crafting an exceptional axe (Wealth 2) would be beyond Azo without a stunt, since his Craft ability is only 1. If he rolled all 10’s on his 3 dice he could get an “unexpected” exceptional result while crafting a normal quality axe.

    Now to the point about Wealth 0. It is obvious that an axe – for example – requires materials that would not be just laying around. So a Wealth 0 purchase would be treated as a hidden Wealth level 1 point below Wealth 1. Since Azo does not possess the Wealth background at all he cannot afford these materials. He has no money, no income and, under ordinary circumstances, would have to work 12-16 hour days merely to feed and clothe himself.

    A Wealth 0 purchase would be a significant investment for a character with Wealth 1, reducing them to no Wealth for a month. A character with Wealth 2 could make several such purchases in a month as a matter of course.

    Does this answer the questions you had regarding crafting?

  3. Yes it does, thank you.

    However it does raise an interesting question about wealth. I had thought, and I expect many of my fellow adventurers thought the same given that they also had no wealth background, that being classical heroic sorts we would start the campaign with literally “nothing”. That as things progressed we would acquire wealth through various plunder and rewards for deeds done (classic D&D model). However this has not occurred. It is not that we have not had opportunity to get plunder, there has been some extremely expensive items both within the tower and on the island. Is this a deliberate ploy on your behalf or a shortfall in our roleplaying of the situation? I had thought that by this stage Azo, while not being wealthy, would have to be have enough to live comfortably (at least in the short-term).

    What are your thoughts on this matter going forward? Do you need to expand on the wealth token system or devise another mechanism for converting “plunder” into a wealth background?

  4. Another question…

    Your description of Craft does not explicitly say you need to choose one of the five mundane craft abilities when acquiring the Craft ability, but is this your intention? If it is how would this work for a weapon smith? Obviously their primary craft would be fire (the working of metals), but if as you describe above they wanted to create an axe would they also need a craft ability in wood? Would you treat the wood aspect of creating an axe incidental to the primary ability and not require a second roll/ability score? Alternatively would you give the weapon smith an ability to work wood at one or two dots less than their fire ability? How do you see this working?

    In addition, if craft needs to be bought multiple times how would this work with favoured status? Would all craft abilities be favoured or just one?

    Craft
    Craft allows characters to create both useful and beautiful objects. Highly skilled craftspeople can create impressive masterworks. There are five mundane Craft Abilities, each associated with one of the five elements. Fire deals with metal & fire, Earth deals with buildings and structrures, Water Crafts are cooking and brewing, Air concerns precision or decorative items, while Wood deals with carving or maintaining natural materials like cane or wood. Specialties: Sword-smith (Fire), Stonecutter (Earth), Calligraphy (Air), Poisons (Water), Tanning (Wood).

  5. Crafting Abilities: The Exalted description does not explicitly spell it out either but yes, each one is a wholly separate skill – implied by the phrase “mundane Craft Abilities” where the word ability is capitalised.

    Where a finished item requires more than one Ability – the axe, for example – then the craftsman needs to have access to all of the required abilities. He need not possess the ability himself – perhaps a colleague or apprentice could produce the supplemental parts. I would deem one of the Craft abilities to be the primary and it would be this ability that is used in any calculations or rolls. Supplemental crafts would only need to be rolled for in cases where an exceptional item was the desired outcome.

    So for Azo – he could pay a woodturner to make the handle which would be subsumed as part of the material cost, and then make the head himself. Craft (Fire) would be the primary roll. To deliberately make an exceptional axe would require a craftsman with Craft (Wood) 2 and they would have to roll the appropriate amount of successes to produce a haft of sufficient quality.

    Making any Craft a Favoured Ability would apply this status to all Craft Abilities.

    Also I am deciding that there is only one set of Mastery Feats for Craft – not a separate set of Masteries for each of the five abilities. Should make things easier and cheaper for craftsman PC’s.

  6. Wealth: You know what they say about assumptions, right?

    Yes this has been a deliberate ploy on my part, but this has also been combined with how players have approached the situations. Remember that even a single Wealth 1 token represents a good deal of money – enough to live on for a month or so, as long as the character’s tastes are not extravagant.

    The tokens are my way of representing plunder. This is because the Wealth background is a measure of income, rather than cash on hand. I really, really cant be bothered with counting currency and haggling over every silver piece the characters spend, so the system is necessarily abstract.

    How’s this: Spending a Wealth token allows the character to live at the appropriate level for a month without incident. This assumes lodging, food, transport and clothing, plus whatever manpower is appropriate to arrange these things. It will NOT cover discrete purchases of a permanent nature – these must be paid for with either an additional token of the appropriate value, or from a character’s Wealth background.

    If the player so decides, it is entirely within the scope of the game to work on gaining or increasing one’s Wealth, just as “The W” has done. This may bring extra complications to a character’s life and I think we should all be on board with the type of game we want to be playing adn the stories we want to tell.

    Wealth and resources will come with time. Right now we have, I think, agreed on stories of action-adventure rather than politics, commerce, and intrigue – stories that would have far more potential for increasing (or decreasing) a character’s permanent Wealth. I am committed to this setting for the long haul and I’m not adverse to changing focus if that is what the prevailing mindset is.

  7. Wealth (continued)…

    I don’t think the consensus is for a change in the flavour of the campaign.

    However my thoughts are in relation to the number of wealth tokens you hand out. Looking through the Exalted rules it would appear that the gap between the “wealth” level of an item and the next level is a factor of 5-6 per dot. So a three dot item is around 25-36 times more expensive than a one dot. So to use your example if a PC was to sell a 3 dot item, he would expect to live for a year or two on the proceeds and still have a few “coins” left over for the odd one off purchase. This is the point I was trying to get across.

    I suppose there is a big difference between keeping the financial wherewithal of the PC’s in check and having them at a starvation/beggar level…

  8. Sure – if the character spent a Wealth 3 token and lived at a Wealth 1 level, he could expect the token to stretch a lot further. Wealth 1 is hand to mouth and can barely support a family.

    My point was that spending a Wealth 3 token would allow a character to live at Wealth 3 level for a month.

    A Wealth 5 token would allow a character to dwell in a rented palace, entertain dignitaries every night and hold a couple of extravagant feast day celebrations – for a month.

    Living at a lower Wealth level than the token would enable the character to extend their situation by a commensurate amount. Dropping 1 level might last 2-3 months. Drop 2 levels and it could last 6 months to a year. Assuming, of course, that the character does not travel too far from their place of lodging.

    The number of Wealth tokens I’ve handed out have been, I felt, commensurate with the type and amount of loot accumulated. This is also relative to the character. Jullian, for example, needs to be trading in large quantities or very expensive items before he’ll even warrant a token. I am also largely unconcerned with the listed value of a particular item. It is the overall value of “loot” that tokens have reflected. Not to mention that just because an item is listed at a particular Wealth level is no guarantee that it is worth the same in cash.

    Please bear in mind that the party has not actually encountered any particularly valuable treasures yet – or at least nothing very portable.

  9. Quick additional comment: You’ll notice that the party has never actually been at the starvation/beggar level. My comment about Azo not having any money was more to point out that if he was a peasant he’d be working all day and then some just to survive.

    Azo is not a peasant. He is a hero with ways and means available to him that normal people do not have. The day to day needs of the party have, for the most part, ignored for the sake of ease. I have only required a certain expenditure when it makes sense as part of the story to introduce it as a complication, or when a character desires to purchase something that is outside of their normal living costs.

  10. Under the new configuration does a shield count as a weapon or armour for crafting purposes? In other words does it get 2 or 3 improvements at exceptional level…

    My thinking is that it should be still classified as armour and get the two improvements that could be divided among: Accuracy, Damage, Defense, Mobility (reduces mobility penalty by one) or Requirements (reduces one trait minimum by one). Your thoughts?

    Would a shield require both Fire and Wood crafting rolls to create? Would this depend upon its construction?

  11. Still waiting on your thoughts on crafting shields…

    You have stated that you see the opportunity for PC’s to craft weapons and armour in your campaign as being limited? How do you see this working in practice? For example Azo has Craft 3 (Fire). If he wants to make himself an exceptional target shield (according to EX2) he would need 2 weeks, a forge & tools and the raw materials. As we have discussed above, being a hero, Azo should be able to scrounge togeather the raw materials and the use of a forge, tools etc. So what would stop him usung 2 weeks of down time to forge an exceptional shield?

    D

  12. Sorry – I might have missed your older comment. You might have misunderstood my point above about the day to day needs of the party being largely ignored for the sake of a heroic story.

    Mechanically, Azo still needs access to Wealth to be able to craft something. He can’t just scrounge up high-quality steel and requisition a forge for a fortnight.

  13. And I’m not sure about the Shield question. I will give it some thought.

  14. So how is a PC gain to access Wealth? I am not talking about income, I am talking about coin to spend… Practically did we finish the last campaign with nothing?

    I put points in Network as a background as I felt it suited my character better, but are you saying I should have put them into the Wealth background because there is no other option?

  15. We’re going around about here, I think.

    Wealth represents income and property – the material holdings that a character needs to be able to purchase goods and services. A character with 0 Wealth would – under ordinary circumstances – be forced to work just to subsist. Since we are not generally adventuring under ordinary circumstances, this need is waived. It is boring and serves no purpose in the story.

    That does not mean that one can just hand-wave significant expenses. Wealth 2 would keep a small family of peasants for several months.

    Access to Wealth could come in two main forms, I imagine. Either you have it as a background yourself, or you know someone who does. If you want to earn it during our stories, then it requires you to actively pursue it as Jullian did.

    You weren’t there for the end of the last chronicle, but in terms of material wealth, yes, you guys got squat. Thousands of people died when Stonetown was wiped out in the tidal wave caused by the violent destruction of Xallista’s machine. The harbour is effectively destroyed for the time-being and a large part of Haven’s labour force with it. The city, while they did fete the group for a month or two and lauded you as heroes, was not in a position to just hand over the keys to the treasury.

    Network represents contacts – people who you can lean on for information or favours. It may be that some of those contacts have Wealth of their own, in which case a character may be able to leverage their Network background to gain access to it. Doing so might “burn out” that contact for a time, similar to how Wealth dots get removed for significant purchases.

    Can a character craft nice stuff? Yes they can, but I’m certainly not going to just look the other way when it comes to the cost of doing so. Downtime would almost certainly be the best time for a character to Craft gear. It will, of course, detract from any other activities they might be pursuing, such as training Trait increases.

    Bottom line – Crafting requires Wealth. How you leverage that Wealth will be up to your character.

  16. Further to previous comment – Wealth tokens will suffice to pay for exceptional expenses, such as crafting materials. A character could also leverage the backgrounds of Influence or Backing.

    Shields: Wealth cost for these items will be 0, 1, 2 (Buckler, Target, Tower). Exceptional variants have two bonuses from Accuracy, Defense, Damage, or Rate. Reducing Mobility penalty by 1 requires both bonuses.

    Most shields will require Craft (Wood) except for certain special constructions that contain substantial metal elements, which require Craft (Fire) in addition or instead.

  17. Thanks for the update. Sorry for being a “dog with a bone” about this but it was not making sence to me. Like you said I was not there for the wrap up session and didnt know where things were at.

    D

  18. Interesting that you include Influence as a possible source of resources…

    In your description under Character Creation 2.0 you said Influence is “A measure of a character’s standing – in her community, nation, organisation, or the world – and how much weight her words carry. It is worth noting that Influence does not denote access to resources, rather how easily the character can sway a body of people to use their resources for the character’s ends.”

    On the other hand Network states “A Network is a series of contacts and informants that will help a character with information and access to resources in return for favours or money. Networks must be cultivated and maintained, especially widespread networks.”

    Both Allies and Backing are silent on the question of resources…

    Do these various backgrounds need clarification?

  19. I have deliberately left the Background descriptions open – I’d hope that this might foster a degree of creativity in how people design characters. What a character can and can’t do with a certain background will, to a large extent, be dependent on the character concept.

    Let’s examine some of them in relation to Azo crafting an item:

    Wealth: Obvious in application. This would represent Azo paying for the materials and facilities himself.

    Network: If one of Azo’s contacts is wealthy then he could ‘borrow’ the Wealth as previously discussed. If he had a blacksmith for a contact, then he could ask for the use of the contact’s forge and stock as a favour.

    Allies: Largely the same as above. Chances are that an ally would require payment in the form of a favour – “Sure I can let you use the forge in my castle, but I do have this bandit problem I need dealt with…”

    Influence: As stated, Azo would not just be able to requisition supplies and facilities, but he could convince a city or organisation that opening up such would be to mutual gain. “These chaos marauders threaten the very safety of Refuge. As a champion of our Circle, I suggest that all of the city’s forges be opened to any craftsmen that are willing to help arm our soldiers.”

    Backing: Similar to influence. If Azo’s backers can be shown that allowing him access to a forge and materials is necessary to their goals then they may do so. “Sisters and brothers of the Circle, I am honored and humbled to serve as your emissary in this matter. Might I be allowed access to the Creation Forge, so that I can properly prepare for this dangerous quest?”

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