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[Realms hack] Crafting and Masterworks

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  • [Realms hack] Crafting and Masterworks

    Greetings All,

    I'm starting up my first Pugmire / Monarchies of Mau game in two weeks, and in reading through and prepping for the campaign, I was unable to find any rules for crafting, so I ported some over from D&D 5e with some alterations to account for the Realms abstract handling of coin.

    While doing so, however, I also expanded on the system for Masterworks, based on Crafting Magic Items (from Xanathar's Guide to everything). For my game, I'm explicitly interested in post-apocalyptic exploration and scavenging (with Horizon Zero Dawn as my primary inspiration), so I wanted guidelines for how to jury-rig magic items from pieces of Old Ones tech discovered in dungeons.

    I thought I would post here to get some feedback, and for anyone else to use as they like. The full write-up is Viewable on Dropbox. Here's the quick-overview:

    - players find "exotic parts" as part of exploration and dungeon delving, or may seek them out
    - exotic materials and components (in my game) will be way much more common than finding an intact relic
    - PCs can use their own downtime to turn parts into Masterworks, or can hire an artisan to do so
    - some particularly complex Masterworks may also require finding a magic formula of Old Ones knowledge
    - parts can usually be turned into several different types of Relic, or into a wide variety of Fixes, letting the player choose how to use it
    - I group the endless variety of Masterworks into 4 categories of how they're perceived to work, which allows for generalizable loot when its desired

    With this, I'm hoping to incentive creativity and going out of the way to discover more about the Old Ones, and to provide loot that interacts thematically with the setting I have in mind. There is always going to be something interesting and useful to find, scavenge, or harvest - but it will either be a Fix of limited duration, or a component they get to adapt with creativity and effort.


    I hope this is interesting to some other Guides, and I'd appreciate any feedback!
    ~Seraph Kitty


    Second Chance for
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_709_1572548741915_354[/ATTACH]
    A Beautiful Madness

  • #2
    Do not have feedback for now, but I mark I'm interested in this rules. Will write more when read the document.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ through Ages
    LGBT+ in CoD games

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    • #3
      I had my first session this weekend! I'm using the above rules for this game, and made sure to hand out "exotic materials" as the most common loot. They haven't had a chance to use them for anything yet, but so far they've harvested exotic acids from a Rust Monster, stainless steal from an Animated Armor that could be forged into a weapon or armor back in town, and a electrocuting claw (Fix) that they want to try crafting into a whip. I have a few players really excited about the post-apocalyptic exploration and scavenging rules that I'm emphasizing in my chronicle. We'll get some stress testing from it soon, I'm sure.


      Second Chance for
      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_709_1572548741915_354[/ATTACH]
      A Beautiful Madness

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      • #4
        I've run 5 sessions so far, and handing out crafting materials has occurred in all of them. My players have begun crafting / requisitioned a few items so far, but haven't finished any yet. And I've run into a few snags which caused me to refine things a little bit, so I wanted to give an update as to my experiences.

        When I've been thinking about exotic parts for players to find or harvest, I've always had a few different Relics I intended for it to be crafted into. But I didn't actually tell players what those items were. Instead, I gave brief descriptions of the magic, like "projects illusions" which implied its uses. I think I was trying to stimulate creativity, not try to box them in or something, but it wasn't a good call. The corebooks have very, very few Relics to peruse, and even if I were to directly say they can use D&D, there's a bunch of items in there which aren't appropriate for my setting - or which are too powerful for me to allow, certainly at levels 1-3. So my players initially felt a little lost - but still had cool ideas for a lot of stuff.

        Another early problem was with how many parts to require. Initially, I just wanted one single core component for each relic. Then I had relic ideas that involved two very different types of magic (like a "floating eye familiar", requiring both visual recording and hover), then a player asked if they could incorporate a Fix into a weapon - and it was a cool idea I wanted to let them pull off, but if it's supposed to be a single use item, it would run out of magic too fast. So maybe getting a second component to power it with?
        I was trying to keep the number of parts low, because Pugmire is a simple, loose system. Crafting recipes of 5 items just don't fit. Player requests have gotten me up to three unique parts required, but I think I'm going to make that the hard limit, and a rare one at that. We'll see what else they come up with, though.

        Having exotic parts that provide a power source has given me a new way to use ammunition, though. "Exotic ammunition", where the replenished fuel is too complex for Cats and Dogs to craft; it has to be scavenged from the old ones. I'm using this for the "wand of needles" (requiring them to scavenge spare ammo of needles from ruins in the wilderness, under similar rules to hunting and gathering food while traveling from D&D5). The one player I have whose currently grappling with this hasn't had an issue yet, and my setting has enough wilderness ruins that it's easily feasible for him. We'll see how it goes, though. I've included some other ammo types, like "flaming jars" (gasoline/propane) and "shock rocks" (batteries) that power magic and have to be scavenged.
        Playing around with the ammo rules has helped put limits on many of the Relics I'm intending to hand out. But my players are already disliking the normal ammo rules for bows/crossbows. It seemed like a good innovation to avoid bookkeeping, but I have a Guardian in the party which carries a crossbow as backup - and who dumped Dex, obviously; the idea of going from a full pack of around 20 bolts to totally empty after 2 shots really annoyed her (and that has a 50% chance of happening).

        My most concerning problem though, in my opinion, is that it's starting to incentivize a murder-hobo mentality. It might be early enough in the chronicle for me to nip that before it takes root. But they've pressed for a kill in several cases when it wasn't necessary explicitly to try harvesting a part. Which I'm not enthusiastic about. On the one hand, it's only beasts and monsters right now, which is fair enough. But they killed a griffin I wasn't even intending to be a combat - just a skill challenge / minor upset while traveling. And that's making me nervous. And what makes me extra nervous is that actually falls within the scope of my original intention for this crafting system - which was taking on optional challenges to get interesting components to craft Relics with.


        So there have been some hiccups, and each has prompted me to refine the system in some way. I'm looking forward to seeing what I've learned by the end of the chronicle.
        On the other hand, I've had a few players really buy into the crafting system, in various ways too. My guardian requisitioned a new armor set from the metal she tore off an Animated Armor, but hasn't really tracked or pursued much on her own. My Mancer has greedily sought out components and come up with with all sorts of uses for them. My Ratter has quite thoughtfully examined the group's abilities and the story's challenges, and proposed relics that would specifically help them out, and kept an eye out for useful parts for that. I've had a player take on a side-quest to figure out a magic formula and a dangerous-looking component. And I've had players ignore the entire thing without (yet) feeling excluded.
        So it's done a lot of cool things in various ways, I'm still glad I'm using it. But it's rough around the edges right now.


        I'd love to hear other peoples' thoughts though. Until then, enjoy
        ~Seraph Kitty


        PS: I'm working on a Canis Minor project off-and-on which will have a polished version of the crafting rules, my variant rules for ammunition and scavenging, some sample Relics I'm pretty proud of, and some custom monsters. I am having so much fun running a post-apocalyptic setting!
        Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 10-20-2019, 02:05 PM.


        Second Chance for
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_709_1572548741915_354[/ATTACH]
        A Beautiful Madness

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