Crafting

Crafting an item requires time and resources. You can’t typically make a sword without a forge or a bow without wood and you must have at least one level in a relevant focus skill (e.g. Bladesmithing for blades, Armourcraft for Armour, Bowyer for bows or arrows)

Determining the difficulty to craft an item…

To determine the crafting difficulty use the list below to compile a value from the variables.

Difficulty Table

Variable Difficulty Modifier
Weapon, Melee 5
Weapon, Ranged 10
Weapon, Tech 15
Size, Small 2
Size, Medium 4
Size, Large 6
Positive Trait 1
Weapon, Dmg. 1/damage
Armour, Soak 1/soak
Type, Light 5
Type, Medium 10
Type, Heavy 15
Simple Ammo 10
Complex Ammo 15
Downtime, Week -5
Downtime, Month -10

Example Items

Example Variables Total Difficulty
Maul Melee (5) + Medium (4) + Damage (7) + Trait Brutal (1) 17
Baton Melee (5) + Small (2) + Damage (3) 10
Hunting Spear Melee (5) + Large (6) + Damage (4) + Trait Parryx2 (2) 17
Dagger Melee (5) + Small (2) + Damage (3) 10
Shortsword Melee (5) + Small (2) + Damage (4) 11
Longsword Melee (5) + Medium (4) + Damage (5) 14
Longbow Ranged (10) + Medium (4) + Damage (5) 19
Light Crossbow Ranged (10) + Medium (4) + Damage (6) 20
Bellator Warbow Ranged (10) + Large (6) + Damage (8) + Trait Piercing (1) + Trait Brutal (1) 26
Repeating Xbow Tech (15) + Medium (4) + Damage (5) + Trait Reload (1) 26
Leather Light (5) + Medium (4) + Soak (2) 11
Chainmail Medium (10) + Medium (4) + Soak (6) 20
Breastplate Medium (10) + Medium (4) + Soak (9) 23
Bone Heavy (15) + Medium (4) + Soak (10) 29
Full Plate Heavy (15) + Medium (4) + Soak (15) 34
Tollam Plate Heavy (15) + Medium (4) + Soak (21) 40

While it is possible to craft some items in a single day or even a few hours (daggers, arrows, simple armour) most attempts at crafting require more than a single day’s work to complete.

Once you have determined the Difficulty of the check, divide this value by 5 and round up. This is the number of checks/stages that are required to complete the task. The artisan can make 1 check for each day spent focusing on the work.

Example: To create a standard longsword is a difficulty 14 and takes 3 checks. Creating a full suit of plate is difficulty 34 and requires 7 checks.

Improving Chances and Speeding up the Process

Some things are so difficult to craft it requires more than just skill and luck. Fortunately there are several ways to improve both the chances on a given crafting check and the number of checks required to complete the task. For example, Tollam Plate is virtually impossible for humans to forge because it takes months and teams of skilled smiths using ancient tech to do so. Many advanced weapons require not just expertise to craft but specialized equipment. Even normal plate armour can take a team of skilled armourers weeks to complete, assuming normal circumstances. Below are some of the ways to deal with these problems.

  • Assistance: Many hands make for light work. For each person who assists in earnest the artisan gains a bonus to their roll.

    • Unskilled Help grants a +1. The assistant doesn’t need to be an expert or even trained, but their player needs to explain how they are helping.
    • Skilled Help who have at least 1 point in craft and a relevant focus skill grant +2.
  • Materials: Some materials are simply easier to work with than others. At the storytellers discretion they may reduce the difficulty by 1-3 points due to the use of superior materials or reduce the number of checks to finish the work by 1.
  • Hurried: The checks above assume an average pace of work but skilled Artisans can output goods more quickly by sacrificing time for skill. Anyone with the Tinker or Mechanic standard calling, Artifex, Urangi, or Sige advanced calling can trade checks for difficulty, imposing an additional difficulty of +5 to a check and reducing the number of checks required by 1. This penalty can be stacked.
  • Low Grade: The checks above assume the Artisan is attempting to make a decent quality item, but it is also possible to sacrifice quality for ease or speed. A player can declare they are making a Low Grade item and reduce the difficulty by 1 per element sacrificed. A junk shortsword that does 3d is 9 difficulty to make and only takes 2 rather than 3 days. The artisan can even combine Hurried with Low Grade, making a dull and ugly sword in one day at a difficulty of 14.
  • Technology: Some Urul foundries and forges integrate advanced technology to assist artisans in their work. The exact benefit of a given technology is determined by the Storyteller but typically ranges from a bonus of 1-3 on the roll or a reduction in the number of checks required to finish the work, reducing the time.

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Examples:
Marcus Vansen is a skilled blacksmith and wishes to craft a fine longsword for his friend Fedha. He has gathered the materials, prepared his forge and is now ready to start the work. Since it is a Longsword the base difficulty is 14 (Melee (5) + Size, Medium (4) + Damage (5)) but he would also like to add engravings to the blade (1) and give it a Selenian edge (1), adding two additional positive traits for a final difficulty of 16. 16 / 5 = 3.2 which rounds up to 4, meaning it will require 4 at least 4 days to complete this blade.
Marcus has Intellect 3, Craft 4, and Focus Skill Blacksmithing 4 for a +11. He also has an Urul forge that grants him +2 and a novice assistant who grants +1 for a total bonus 14, meaning he doesn’t really need to roll on this check, he simply needs to focus on the task for 4 days. He is able to do so for the first three days but is unable to focus on the task on the 4th and therefore cannot complete the task. He is able to return on the fifth day and finish the blade.

Alternately, Marcus decides he wishes to craft this blade more quickly and wants to complete the task in 2 days rather than 4. To do so he declares his intention to hurry the task by 2, imposing an additional +10 to the difficulty, increasing it to 26. With a bonus of 14 he needs to roll 12 or higher both days in order to succeed in his task.

Vel is a novice bowyer who is looking to create a longbow to replace the one that was stolen while adventuring. The difficulty for a Longbow is 19, (Ranged (10) + Medium (4) + Damage (5)) so he has his work cut out for him. Unfortunately he’s stuck far from home and must scavenge for materials meaning he must first succeed on a Intuition + Survival check to find the right wood and hunt an animal from which to make a bowstring. He is successful but his materials are poor imposing an additional +1 difficulty making the target 20 and requiring 4 days to complete.
Vel has Intellect 1, Craft 2, and Focus Skill Bowyer 3 for a +6. He will need to roll a 14 or higher each day he works on the bow.

Gerand is a Victran factorum worker who spends his days crafting gear for the cannon fodder armies of Victra. He works on an assembly line, putting together cheap breastplates for the troops. Normally breastplates are difficulty 23 (Type, Medium (10) + Size, Medium (4) + Soak (9)) but the Lords of Victra aren’t particularly concerned about the survival of their soldiers so they use Low Grade metals, reducing the soak to 6 and the difficulty of creation to 20. With the factories ingenious automation the work could be done in 4 days rather than 4 but unfortunately even that isn’t sufficient for the greedy owners who hurry the process with whip wielding foremen who drive the line to get work done in 2 days, resulting in a difficulty of 25 per armour. Like most Victran workers, Gerand has limited skills (Craft +2, Armour +3 = 5) but benefits from ample assistance (Roustabouts x3 = 3). Still, every day is hard work, requiring a roll of 17 just to avoid the foremans lash.

Maintenance and Repair

Restoring a reasonably damaged item to working condition is usually much easier than crafting a new item wholesale. Generally speaking repair checks for minor damage should be singular rather than extended checks, typically 1 check at the items. Repair checks for major damage or broken items require 1/2 the number of checks of full item creation.

Modifications and Accessories

Applying a modification or accessory to a piece of gear necessitates a single craft check as indicated on the Modification or Accessory table.

Downtime

These mechanics are intended to represent checks made during periods of high intensity activity; for example during an active adventure or period of chaos where each day can bring new dangers and difficulties. Periods of extended downtime should be treated slightly differently. Rather than making checks for each day of a week or month of downtime, instead the player makes a single check with the difficulty reduced by 5 for each week, or 10 for each month where the character is focused on creation of an item. If the player wishes to create multiple items it is suggested they be limited to a number of concurrent creations equal to the lower of their level in Craft or Intellect and this assumes they are devoting the majority of their energy during the specified period to crafting and not, say travelling or research.

Legendary and Equipment Advanced Technology

What if I’m a master craftsmen and I want to create a longsword that does 10 damage and has every positive trait?
There are some limits on how much damage a weapon can do on its own or the amount of damage armour can soak before skill comes into consideration. A 10d sword doesn’t seem overpowered until you realize that even a grazing hit will kill the average adventurer in chainmail in 1 hit at a cost of only +5 to difficulty.

Gear Type Max
Normal Melee 7d
Tech. Melee 9d
Normal Ranged 7d
Tech. Ranged 18d
Normal Armour 6 Soak
Tech. Armour 8 Soak

What if I want to create Folding Armour, a Barrier, or another advanced technological device?
The monumental complexity of these devices and their associated materials put them beyond the skills of a smith with a forge, or even a full factory of workers. These devices are the purview of exceptional Mechanics, and Artifex and special Relics such as Armourers and Looms.

No Unnecessary Rolls

Between Aspects, Skills, Focus Skills, Traits, Callings, and other bonuses it is entirely possible for a character to have a bonus that exceeds base difficulties. This represents a character who has mastered a craft and are above the concerns of luck, able to demonstrate their skill at a high level consistently. This does not mean they can create things without resources or time however, it just means they don’t need to roll for it. A Master Artisan whose relevant craft roll exceeds the difficulty of an item no longer needs to roll to create that item, they just need to expend the resources and time. The artisan still calculates the difficulty and stages as indicated but they are assumed to succeed on each difficulty roll automatically. The exception to this would be if situational penalties might increase the difficulty to equal or greater than the skill check. For example, if the character is sick or injured, has substandard resources, or is rushing. If the skill is equal to the difficulty the artisan must still roll but only fails on a critical failure.

When travelling, assuming the character has the right supplies, a check can made once per week during travel at a penalty of -3 as any effort must be necessarily split between the task at hand and the rigors of travel. Certain circumstances can mitigate this penalty such as extended rests which reduce the penalty to -1 but add 30% to the travel time of any journey. This has the expected impact on provisions, vehicle wear, and risk.