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  • Totentanz Rewrites Craft [PEACH]

    Update: Complication subsystem is up

    If you love Ex3 Craft and want to defend it, this is not your thread. If you want to debate the relative value of 2E's Craft, this is also not your thread.

    This my attempt to combine the aspects of 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition Craft in a way that is true to the setting. I've been working on this project for a while now, and it needs outside eyes. I have notes on charms, but those will come after the system is finished. Also, please note this is not a fluffy, abstract system like Sorcerous Workings. It's hard to build a charm set around that kind of system.

    I'm using spoiler tags to help with navigation. Development list and Changelog at the bottom.

    My thoughts on the issues and pain points over Exalted's history. No crunch here, so feel free to skip if you just want to look at the system.
    While Crafting is a vital yet painful part of Exalted. To create a better system, it is necessary to define what doesn’t work.

    First, Craft traditionally removes PCs from play. This is acceptable from a simulation viewpoint, but frankly it’s not fun.

    Second, while mundane Craft is useful narratively, players don’t invest hundreds of XP to make really great nails. They want Artifacts and big things like ships and palaces. Unfortunately, Artifact creation in Exalted is effectively gated behind exotic components, the system for which can be summed as “be creative.” The same be said for big project support This is a disservice to both players and STs.

    Third, traditionally Craft has paid off for all PCs in Artifacts, but it’s involved primarily one player’s investment and involvement. This creates a perverse incentive for players to spotlight the Crafter to get their toys, without their PC contributing.

    3rd Edition addresses some of the above problems, but creates its own.

    First, the Craft system supports only one Craft character. That is the omni-Crafter, the guy who interacts with the game world only through Craft. That’s a fine concept. It’s also bad game design to prohibit or XP tax other character concepts.

    Second, the system perversely demands omni-Crafter, but doesn’t provide tools. Ex3 Craft, for all its size, has few capabilities or fun tricks on offer. It focuses on the Craft mini-game, leaving omni-Crafter to stunt one more nick-of-time item creation while everybody else does things like summon demons and kick gods in the nuts. It’s okay; he can stop any time. He just needs to drop an Essence point worth of XP on CXP-generating charms.

    Third, CXP doesn’t plug into the narrative. All systems create incentives, of course, but Ex3 Craft fails to link incentive to a definable in-game narrative, and that’s kinda silly. DnD tells characters to kill monsters in order to get gold and buy better stuff for killing monsters. 3rd Edition tells characters to cook eggs in the morning because <runtime error: simulation failure>. This destroys verisimilitude for many people. How absurd is a “narrative” system that demands IC action without an IC justification? Nevermind, dance for your CXP, my pet!

    Fourth, Craft eventually becomes exhausting. Craft interactions both input and output CXP. The biggest subset of these events, charms, have a dizzying array of if/else statements, recursion, along with both pre-roll and post-roll steps. All of this interacts and pretty soon you have an N-step process for each roll, each step requiring and potentially outputting CXP and possibly dropping into a while/true loop. It’s a silly investment of time and mental space to generate an integer. Other systems in the game are involved, those systems are also interacting with external values. Craft interacts only with itself, and thus can’t justify the overhead.


    This is my (shorter) list of Craft design goals.
    Having outlined the problems, what design points matter for a Craft Rewrite?
    • Allow the Crafter to meaningfully engage in the story while Crafting.
      • Provide novel capabilities for Crafters, not just math tricks.
    • Bring Crafting into the story without forcing a character to use Craft to engage.
      • Create opportunity for all PCs to be involved in Artifact creation.
    • Treat Exotic Components (ECs) as integral to the game and the setting
      • Provide support to both players and STs in using ECs
    • Support larger projects with Goldilocks crunch.
    • Support as many Crafter concepts as possible.
    • Use the IC narrative as the basis for generating OC incentives.
    • Keep Craft rolls simple and direct, while validating charm XP investment.
    • Mechanically support the Ex3 narrative of the First Age being the result of the genius and productivity of the Solar Exalted.
    There are other design goals some people find desirable that I am disregarding. The system needs crunch for charms to hang on, period. If you wanted a Sorcerous Workings-like system, this is not for you. Crafting mundane items is fun, but this system won’t mandate it. Finally, this is not a cookie clicker.


    How to make stuff: System Basics
    I encourage you to bypass this system when the outcome isn’t in doubt, or when the results don’t impact the narrative.

    Craft projects require one or more of the following, as appropriate.
    • Raw Materials
    • Tools
    • Project Slot
    • Skill
    • Time
    • Goal Number (simple or extended roll)
    • Location (You need to be in a place to build on it, right?)
    Raw Materials and Tools

    All Projects require correct materials and tools. Per Ex3, exceptional tools provide +1 die. For most mundane Projects, materials should be handwaved.

    Project Slots

    All Major Projects and above require a Project slot. Characters advance all slotted Projects at once during normal play. Characters have two Major Project slots. A character who does nothing other than Craft (i.e. PC taking downtime) has a third Major Project slot. If the downtime ends, the character loses one Project of their choice.

    Skill

    There are no skill requirements for Non-Projects and Basic Projects. Major Projects and above require a Specialty. Artifacts have their own rules.

    Additionally, the ST may rule some rare items may only be created with more stringent requirements. For example, the ST requires the purchase of a Firedust specialty for Alchemy to process it. This is used to fuel stories, and validate the rarity of some skill sets in Creation, not cock-block players.

    Time

    Projects lasting longer than a day have a Time component. For Basic and Major Projects, this is the number of days necessary to complete the Project. For other Projects this is the Interval between rolls to add successes (also expressed in days). STs are encouraged to allot time in chunks and abstract downtime as necessary.
    The Time component is divided into two equal subcategories: Preparation and Execution. Preparation must be completed before Execution can be accumulated. Divide a Terminus equally between Execution and Preparation. If the Terminus is odd, apply the remainder to Execution.

    Preparation: The character is taking notes, drawing blueprints, or seeking inspiration from the world. STs should allow characters with basic freedom (not locked in a dark hole) to advance this component freely. Players are encouraged to be creative when describing Preparation. Perhaps contemplating the nature of sharpness while preparing sushi and composing haiku. The only requirement is the composition of media or an item for the character.

    Execution: The character is building the Project. Normal play continues, the character simply needs access to the materials, facilities, and tools.

    New Ability: Craft

    Craft may be purchased multiple times, each associated with a broad category such as Smithing or Architecture. A character may only undertake Basic with the Craft Ability; they qualify as labor for Large Projects. The local village blacksmith might have Smithing 3; her entire life has been spent doing basic tasks, with no advanced understanding of forging a war-ready sword.

    Specialties

    Specialties (Swordsmithing, Armorsmithing, and Shipwright) are required for non-Basic Projects. PCs can learn Specialties with default training time; NPCs acquire knowledge at the speed of plot.



    Project Types (for mundane Craft)


    Non-Projects -- Non-Projects are below the resolution layer of the system, anything a person can learn to do in a few minutes, such as cooking breakfast or assembling IKEA.

    Basic Projects --

    Average craftspeople do Basic Projects every day. They aren’t challenging, but the skills required took time to develop. Examples include shoeing a horse, making twenty arrows for a quiver, or creating basic weapons and armor (wood spears with metal spearheads, boiled leather breastplates). Basic Projects take minutes to a few hours, and resolve with a Craft roll. At the ST’s option a character may repeat a Basic Project many times with a single roll. An example is a fletcher taking several days to stock arrows for a siege.

    Major Projects --

    Major Projects are challenging and involved, including forging a sword for war, or a statue worthy of display in a lord’s manor. Major Projects take from several hours to a Season and resolve with a Craft roll. Major Projects may be Masterworks. Only skilled Craftspeople undertake Major Projects often. A famous chef might be called upon by a prince to produce unique culinary creations to impress his lords, while a cook at the inn is not.

    Large Project --

    Large Projects are abstracted multiple Projects such as a mansion, creating the furniture for a mansion, or building a ship. A Crafter pays a point of Willpower to change a Major slot to a Large slot for the duration of one Project. Large Projects have the unique component Scale, an abstraction of size and complexity. Large Projects require unskilled (Scale) labor and (Scale-1) skilled labor. The Crafter rolls normally, modelling his ability to supervise and manifest his vision. Large Projects may be Masterwork.

    Large Projects are an extended roll (pg189), with a difficulty, goal number, Interval, and possibly a terminus, determined by the ST with the chart below as a guide.
    Scale
    Interval
    Labor
    Examples
    1
    Day
    A handful
    A sturdy hut, a dingy, equip a Fang.
    2
    Week
    A dozen or so
    A spacious house, several sturdy huts, a sailboat, equip a Scale.
    3
    Season
    Several dozen
    A sprawling compound or mansion, a warship, equip a Wing..
    4
    Year
    hundreds
    An Emperor’s palace, a small fleet of warships, a great trade galley, equip a Dragon.
    5
    Years
    Thousands
    A mid-sized city, a frightening war or trade fleet, equip a Legion.
    N/A
    ???
    ???
    The Imperial Palace, the White Sea Dam, Whitewall
    A Crafter may decrease the Interval period by one level by increasing labor by one level. Powerful beings or Workings may count as multiple laborers for these purposes, This trade can be done once for a Project.

    N/A Large Projects are a catchall for any feat of construction unique in Creation. Their construction is the stuff of legend, defying simple formulation.

    Superior and Legendary Projects --

    See Artifacts section.

    Masterwork

    Major and Large Projects may be Masterworks, built to a higher standard of quality. This often means the item is unique. Masterwork items are rated 1-3. A Crafter needs a Craft+Specialty rating of (Masterwork rating +1) to start the Project. Add the Masterwork rating to the roll difficulty. Masterwork provides the following benefits at each level.
    1. Item provides +1 tool bonus for mundane efforts; attempts to break or bypass incur a +1 difficulty. Item requires less maintenance.
    2. Specialized tools, reducing the Time component for mundane efforts by 20%. +2 difficulty to break or bypass. Only requires maintenance after use in extreme circumstances (fighting a flaming hot Ifrit with a rapier).
    3. Sublime tools. Provide tool bonus for a specific Superior Project. +3 difficulty to break or bypass. Only requires maintenance when it breaks, though it still depletes normally (candles still burn down).
    A Masterwork item crafted for a given purpose provides a one-time dice bonus equal to its rating. A beautiful present given to a Prince gains his favor temporarily, giving a bonus on Social Influence. The Masterwork bonus does not affect the statistics of weapons or armor.



    Artifact Rule Basics
    The first stage of making an Artifact is conceiving it. It may be a name, a mechanic, or even an EC (see below). Next, decide an Artifact level. Ex3 has good examples here. From the level you know what Craft slot is necessary, and how many ECs you need. Then you create Touchstones (see below). Touchstones will in turn inspire both powers AND the necessary ECs.

    It is possible to begin with an exotic component, or components. The PCs might slay a Behemoth and harvest its heart. In this case, create Touchstones based on the ECs available, and then create the Artifact. In a similar fashion, one can start by brainstorming Touchstones.

    Touchstones

    A Touchstone is a word or short phrase embodying an aspect of the Artifact’s story or power. Touchstones are a foundation upon which to build the fluff and crunch of a wonder. Artifacts generally have (Rating-1, min 1) Touchstones. Volcano Cutter would have “lava” as a Touchstone; Beloved Adorei has “devotion.”

    The look, theme, personality, and powers of an Artifact should be inspired by its Touchstones, and the ECs used in its construction relate to them. While some charms modify them, fundamentally Touchstones exist as an aid for players and STs to tie Artifact crunch and narrative together. You can disregard them and not break anything.

    Exotic Components

    Exalted loves leaving STs and players at loose ends on handling Exotic Components(ECs). This system is an aid for integrating components. It also involves other PCs in the Artifact creation process and generates stories.

    An Artifact has EC slots equal to its rating; those slots should be filled with ECs related to the Artifact’s Touchstones. STs decide the number of slots for Legendary Artifacts.

    There are two types of exotic components: unique and replicable. Replicable doesn’t mean common, simply that more than one of them can exist in Creation. Replicable components often fill one EC slot. Unique components fill more than one slot. The perfect Unique component might fill all of the EC slots for a five-dot Artifact.

    An Artifact may be conceived and advanced to the end of the Preparation phase without ECs. Execution may not begin until the correct ECs are found. This represents the character exploring the nature of the wonder while searching for the correct pieces.

    Slots

    The Crafter must have an appropriate slot in order to start an Artifact.Superior slots may be created by fusing together a number of Major Slots equal to the Artifact’s rating with a point of Willpower. This lasts for the duration of a single Project. Legendary slots may only be created by magic.Superior Slots are for most Artifacts and some replicable First Age wonders like Essence cannons. Legendary slots are for game-defining works of Artifice.

    Time and Goal Number

    Interval is the necessary amount of labor between rolls in days, default terminus is 6, difficulty 5. Botches end the Project, ruining all components.
    Artifact Level
    Interval
    Goal Number
    Successes/Roll
    1
    20
    25
    4.2
    2
    30
    30
    6
    3
    60
    50
    8
    4
    210 (six months)
    75
    12.5
    5
    425 (one year)
    100
    16.7
    Legendary
    4250(ten years)
    200
    33.4
    Manses, Demesnes, and Hearthstones

    Manses construction is a difficulty 5 roll, with a Scale component (see Large Projects).
    Manse Level
    Scale
    Interval
    Goal Number
    1
    3
    60
    20
    2
    3
    84 (One Season)
    30
    3
    4
    168
    50
    4
    5
    210
    75
    5
    5
    420
    100
    N/A
    N/A
    4250(ten years+Cals)
    200


    Exotic Components in Depth
    Frozen Lightning by any Other Name

    So, other than tossing words like “prodigies” and “wonders” all over the place, what can a EC be? Here are a few general categories:
    • A rare or highly perishable naturally occurring item. The last acorn of a thousand year-old oak.
    • An experience. When the Dawn witnessed the sunrise from Meru’s summit, her heart was filled with such hope and purpose it would inevitably find its way into her new armor.
    • A deliberately Crafted item of exacting specification. A bowl made by a traditional Haslanti potter with clay from the depths of the sea in the West, created in darkness.
    • The remains of a creature, probably powerful or harvested in some exacting fashion.
    • Abstract concepts. A Raksha’s honor. An old man’s regret. A fallen empire’s name.
    • A milestone. An Exalt increasing their Essence or purchasing a capstone charm can act as an exotic component. This is appropriate when the Artifact is intended to fulfill the character’s legend, such as Invincible Sword Princess’ Daiklave.
    • A place. The Artifact may be created in a specific, unique location.
    Sidebar: Shall I forge thee from a summer’s day?
    Exalted often gives abstract examples for ECs, which can trip up STs and players. How do I fold a Raksha’s love for a long dead peasant woman into my Essence Glider wings? Suggestions:
    • Allow a cool stunt to “capture” the item. The Crafter listens to the Raksha’s description of the fair maid, drawing her on his sketchpad. Then he catches one of the spirit’s perfect crystal tears on the finished product.
    • Don’t require physicality at all. Maybe the Crafter braves the Wyld to find the noble, and convince him to open up and tell his story. Having heard it, the Crafter’s soul contains what he needs.
    • Use a place. The Crafter does the final quenching for the Wings in the very spot the Raksha stood when he beheld his love.
    • WST: It can be a cop-out, but demanding the Wyld become the Thing can work.
    • Working: Same as above, and in this case perhaps self-defeating as the character has to invent the Working, too.
    Practical Application

    None of this deals with the real issue of generating ideas for exotic components and inserting them into the game. Let’s expand our toolbox.
    • Introducing a Fact (page 237) -- A player may roll to Introduce a fact regarding the disposition of an exotic component. This roll has a difficulty of (Artifact’s rating+2, Legendary Artifacts count as 6 for this purpose). The fact is a story hook for acquiring the EC. At the ST’s discretion, multiple ECs may be declared with a single fact. “There is an ancient tomb in this forest, avoided by locals and travellers alike. It is the tomb of Ancev, a Necromancer; he imbued his Hand and Eye with strange power.”
    • Moment of Inspiration: This functions as introducing a Fact as above, with Wits+Craft. The Crafter, in a moment of inspiration, sees something of use in his grand design. This roll may be made once per story per slotted Artifact; each slotted Artifact can benefit from one such discovery per story. It is possible in this case for the EC to immediately available. Having slain the Deathknight and her terrifying steed, Jisara realizes the creature’s blood would be of use in her vampiric chakram.
    • Pure Awesome -- Once per story, when a PC does something exceptionally cool that awes the players(like a three dice stunt), a physical impression of that event remains in the world to be harvested. This event scored at least (Artifact rating+3, Legendaries count as 6) successes.
    • Workings and WST -- A Sorcerer/Shaper may craft an exotic component. Different levels of Artifact require different levels of Working: 1-3, Terrestrial. 4-5, Celestial. Legendary: Solar. Shapers need to succeed at the roll two phases earlier than it would take to create the Artifact. XP for the Working/Shaping may come from whomever benefits the most from the Artifact or split amongst characters.
    • Assistance -- At the ST’s discretion, the assistance of a powerful being such as a god or Demon may count as an EC.
    • Bargaining -- Sometimes NPCs have what you need.
    • Farming -- There are beings with the will and patience to cultivate ECs in some capacity. That could include the PCs. Cultivation includes rare starting resources, several rolls at relatively high difficulty, and a big dose of patience.
    Notes for the ST
    If your players bring ideas for Artifacts, rejoice! They gave you motivation for their characters. If they provided you with Touchstones, you have conceptual starting space AND story seeds. If the player wants a Goremaul with the Touchstone “Ever-Hungering Frost;” now you imagine the treacherous quest to get it! When making your stories, sprinkle some ECs in it. Even if players don’t have ideas, tossing them a Craft or Lore roll to find an unique component might spark their imagination; you get an excellent return on investment when they want to “finish” what you started.


    Tools, Repairs, and First Age Artifice
    Tools

    Creating an Artifact requires better tools than a mundane item. The Masterwork rules provide such for a specific Project.

    A character may also make Artifact tools. The tools cover Projects equal in scope to a Craft Ability, allowing the creation of any Artifact equal to the tool’s rating +1, granting the tool bonus. These tools may be upgraded after creation by subtracting the number of ECs and successes to create its current level from the amount necessary to create the next level.

    Workshops with such tools are rare in the Age of Sorrows, most of them in the hands of the Dragon-Blooded. Much of what’s left is guarded by Lunars or occulted by Sidereals.

    Repairs

    Repairing an Artifact takes an appropriate slot, half the successes necessary to build it anew, with half the Interval. The ST may adjust this in either direction in some cases.

    First Age Artifice

    In order to repair (or theoretically create) First Age Wonders, the character must have:
    • Craft (First Age Artifice) at a level equal to the Artifact in question, along with the appropriate specialty. This Ability may be purchased no higher than the purchaser’s level in Craft (Artifacts); finding or rediscovering this knowledge will fuel many stories.
    • Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
    Character can roll Craft (First Age Artifice) without for knowledge. They simply can’t work on First Age Projects, except as skilled labor.


    Each roll to repair or complete the Project requires a Sorcerous Working. The level of the Artifact and the extent of the damage determines the level of the Working necessary; as a guideline Terrestrial Circle Workings can’t repair an Artifact rated higher than 3 and Celestial tops out at 4. The XP for the Workings may be waived if the repairs are relatively minor, or if the character is able to scavenge sufficient materials from other First Age items.




    Updated Merits
    Updated Merits

    I’m skipping fluff on these. Anyone reading this knows fluff. This change is optional, and the rest of the system doesn't break if you want to use the Core Ex3 Merits instead. Just use this system's values (Interval, etc) for Crafting the Artifact.

    Artifact (1-5 dots)

    Now on a 1-5 scale. One dot Artifacts are minor wonders that provide interesting roleplaying potential or specific uses. As they require ECs and MMs to create, they don’t negatively impact Ex3’s tone. One-dot Artifacts will very rarely, if ever, have Evocations. I define a Winter's Breath Jar as a one-dot Artifact because it doesn't provide mechanical bonuses. It exists to in-setting convenience or luxury, and thus shouldn't cost as much as a lesser Daiklave (see below).

    Lesser Artifacts: In the 2nd Age, some Artifacts do not reach their full potential. These lesser Artifacts lack the ability to produce Evocations, and are almost always weapons or armor. Lesser Artifacts occur in one of a few ways. First, the Artificer realizes he lacks the components/skill necessary to complete the full design, and so short-cuts around the issue, leading to an item which is still clearly a wonder, yet also a tragedy. In the second case, an Artificer might simply lack the knowledge necessary to create an Artifact with properly aligned Essence.

    Lesser Artifacts may be purchased for one dot less than a normal Artifact of its type. Artifacts that are not weapons or armor generally can't be Lesser, though a specifically weakened version of a standard Artifact might also apply. For example, if Essence Glider Wings only function in full sunlight, a ST might see fit to rule them lesser.

    Commentary: The expanded Artifact scale allows all permanent magical items to be built using the Artifacts system. In previous editions, some items were essentially magical, yet were made by mundane Artifice with special components, such as ever-frozen ice. The system is kept neat by putting those items under 1-dot Artifacts. The addition of Lesser Artifacts means a PC can now have a lesser Daiklave for two dots. In order to maintain a sense of balance, such items should be moved to the 1-dot category.

    Lesser Artifacts exist to allow players to "opt out" of the Evocation system, if they find it burdensome. They also enable the story of awakening a sword's power, as a Solar Artificer, or perhaps a superlative swordsman finally teases power out of a Lesser Daiklave. This should happen at the speed of plot, and STs should feel free to disallow such a path to players who simply buy Lesser Artifacts to save points with the intent to "easily" upgrade them later.

    Demesne (1-5 dots)

    A character may attune to a Demesne with a Wits+Occult roll, (diff 3), representing one hour of meditation. Once attuned and inside the Demesne he respires (Rating) extra motes per hour, and may reflexively gain (Rating) motes of Essence once per day. Finally, the Demesne acts as a Means for Sorcerous Workings, providing additional Intervals as determined by the ST, based on its Rating and nature. Anyone attuned to a Demesne may make a reflexive Wits+Occult (diff 3) roll to sense Essence use inside it.

    Hearthstone (1-5 dots)

    Hearthstones Linked to a Demesne or a Manse and socketed into an item of the Magical Materials provide their Manse/Demesne benefits to the character directly. The character may only call upon the motes provided by hearthstones once per scene, regardless of how many they own.

    Manse (1-5 dots, also provides Hearthstone and Demesne Effects)

    One and two dot Manses represent relatively minor structures Their power is sufficient to protect the building from natural disasters and perhaps provide some conveniences, but they are not known for the wonders common in larger Manses.

    Sidebar: Why Rewrite the Merits?
    I appreciate the idea of “balancing” Merits with relative costs, but most Merits are story fixtures, which determines how much power they hold. A five-dot Daiklave can feature every session, while a five-dot Manse may be visited once. That’s okay; it’s the nature of the game, but it renders the argument moot, so why not use the five point scale?


    Complications

    Most of the time, when a character Crafts something, the only obstacle is the dice roll. However, when characters undertake large or noteworthy projects, such as building a warship or constructing a Wrackstaff, the process is complex enough that something might get in the way. This system supports these Complications.

    Complications exist to spice up the Crafting narrative, and give other PCs a supporting role in the process of making the important fixtures of your game (Manses, Artifacts, equipment for armies, etc).

    This subsystem can’t create ideas for a ST, nor replace a ST’s judgment. STs should only use this system when it helps them, and when they feel confident they have ideas to work with. While the Ex3 Leadership section (page 226) is more a framework than a rules section, it has good ideas on how to handle this. This system is also more of a framework for your table’s story ideas, rather than a procedural set of rules.

    Nuts and Bolts

    Generally, it’s only worth applying a system for Complications to large, narratively important undertakings. As such, this system is built with the intent to support Projects with extended rolls (Large, Superior, Legendary). I suggest an ad hoc story complication for Major and Basic Projects, if it’s appropriate.

    There are two types of Complications: Inconveniences and Prohibitions.

    Inconvenience

    An Inconvenience will reduce the effectiveness of the Crafter and/or their workforce, but will not prevent the Project from being proceeding. Examples include a slow supply chain for Manse construction materials, angry river gods who decree shipwrights must worship them three hours out of every day, and a meddlesome spirit misplacing tools and supplies while the Twilight is forging a Daiklave.

    Note the term Inconvenience doesn’t mean the problem is minor, simply that the Project can proceed.

    Mechanically, Inconveniences should do one of a few things;
    • Increase the Interval.
    • Increase the difficulty of the roll.
    • Necessitate increased Resource expenditure
    • Reduce the Terminus (representing a particularly dangerous problem in some cases).
    Since Inconveniences can mathematically endanger the completion of a Project, the Crafter can stop work on the Project, accumulate no Time component, and deal with the issue. Alternatively, another character can deal with the issue while they continue to work on the Project. This is a fine time to bring in a PC other than the Crafter, particularly if that PC stands to benefit from the item in question. If the Crafter is making a new ship for the Eclipse’s budding navy, then he has motivation to handle the river gods.

    An Inconvenience is resolved (and the mechanical penalty removed) when the narrative circumstances are cleared up, and not before. The Zenith may have secured faster delivery time for building materials from the local Guild Factor, but that doesn’t cause the goods already in transit to arrive immediately.

    Prohibitions

    Prohibitions prevent the Project from being worked on at all. The Time component is not incremented, and the Crafter may not make rolls or apply charms to the Project. Examples of Prohibitions include angry river gods destroying ships as they are built, raiders occupying a Manse construction site, or a mischievous Lunar stealing a half-finished Daiklave.

    It’s generally easy to tell when Prohibitions have been narratively resolved. The Daiklave is stolen or ransomed back, the gods are beaten into submission, etc.

    Using Complications

    Generally, STs should use Complications to provide interesting twists and turns in the narrative of Craft. This is particularly useful when the narrative is defined by the Project itself. For example, if the PCs need to finish building their warship to sail against some marauding pirates, then the Crafter can Craft while other PCs remove Complications.

    However, STs should also be sensitive to their players. If they are eager to engage the pirates, tossing issues into the mix might not be fun. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. Regardless of the size and scope of the Project, only include Complications when it adds to the fun and the story.


    Complications shouldn’t be used to prevent a Project from ever being completed. STs, if you don’t want something in your game, just say no to the players building it.


    Updates in Development:
    Finalizing Complications, Charms

    Changelog:
    06/23/2016 -- Updated Touchstones to Rating-1. Clarified intent behind Lesser Artifacts, and 1-dot Artifacts really shouldn't have Evocations. Added line that updated Merits are optional
    06/29/2016 -- Updated Lesser Artifact and Artifact Merit text to hopefully better explain the purpose behind them.
    07/07/2016 -- Added Complications
    Last edited by Totentanz; 07-07-2016, 02:56 PM.

  • #2
    There's some interesting stuff here. I like your System Basics and Project Types. I love your Touchstone idea, and your Exotic Components as well. (Question, are Magical Materials considered Replicable Components?)

    I admit I'm outright not a fan of your change for Merits. I like the changed scale approach for artifacts, hearthstones, and demesnes/manses in 3e and I personally feel like it's a loss to expand it out into more granularity again. I get that it makes your scaling system for their creation a lot cleaner, and I see that appeal. But it breaks out of the Craft area of the game and adjusts other areas that I like, so I'm not a fan myself.

    I'm curious to see where this goes with Charms! A neat take, sir!


    I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
    I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

    Comment


    • #3
      You and I partially agree on the merits thing, Hero, and I brought that up with Tot when he was getting my "super official future GM feedback," but ultimately I had to agree with his reasoning at least partially. If nothing else, having an actual USE for a hearthstone trumps everything I could come up with.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jetstream View Post
        You and I partially agree on the merits thing, Hero, and I brought that up with Tot when he was getting my "super official future GM feedback," but ultimately I had to agree with his reasoning at least partially. If nothing else, having an actual USE for a hearthstone trumps everything I could come up with.
        I just don't see anything that he designed in the Merits that couldn't still be done with the the canon dot levels. It feels extraneous and I don't feel like it adds anything productive. Again, just my perspective, but there it is.

        I think my favorite addition is Large projects and workforce's interaction with the system. Bravo.


        I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
        I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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        • #5
          Also chiming in to agree that Large projects are neat. I'd include a paragraph about all the things that can go wrong and how those are story hooks.

          For touchstones, I'd say artifacts should have (Rating - 1), rather than (Rating). Having fewer for each artifact may work better, making them a bit more focused in concept.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
            For touchstones, I'd say artifacts should have (Rating - 1), rather than (Rating). Having fewer for each artifact may work better, making them a bit more focused in concept.
            Agree ten characters


            I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
            I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
              Also chiming in to agree that Large projects are neat. I'd include a paragraph about all the things that can go wrong and how those are story hooks.

              For touchstones, I'd say artifacts should have (Rating - 1), rather than (Rating). Having fewer for each artifact may work better, making them a bit more focused in concept.
              Note: Artifact Rating 1 is a thing in this writeup. Are you suggesting that they have no touchstones, or just that it bottoms out at 1?

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              • #8
                The Unsung Hero I didn't expand the Merits for the sake of the math, but it did make the math easier. The good news is all the values are in approximately the right areas, so the system is usable with the standard Merits. I just personally can't sustain twisting a five point scale into something else.

                BlueWinds I was already thinking five Touchstones was too hefty. Updated to be Rating-1, minimum 1. I think I'll add "Complications," as a general system plug-in to involve other PCs fully in the creation process. If the Twilight is building a Manse, it's a good opportunity for the ST to throw in a nosy spirit court that messes with the workers. Then the Eclipse can build a sub-plot out of negotiating with the court. I'll add it under its own section when it's ready.

                Thanks to everyone for the great feedback. Please keep it coming.

                In specific, does anyone have a good alternate name for "Lesser Artifacts?" The tone is off, and it can be misconstrued as "Artifacts of relatively low dot rating."
                Last edited by Totentanz; 06-25-2016, 03:11 PM. Reason: typo

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                • #9
                  Unawakened, maybe? Or just call them artifacts and the other kind are Awakened Artifacts.

                  Probably not those exact words, but something along those lines feels like it'd be right.


                  Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

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                  • #10
                    Well this is awesome! Not a big fan of the changes to the Merits (as most everyone else mentioned) but I REALLY like what you did with the Exotic Components section, especially since it can fill a gap in the existing system on its own! Cant wait to see what you do with the charms.

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                    • #11
                      I'd allow 1-dot artifacts to be made as Masterwork Major projects with an appropriate exotic component (frozen ice -> winterbreath jar, eg), and disallow evocations from 1-dot artifacts entirely. I just have trouble imagining a 1-dot artifact that would have evocations. (my general dislike of evocations isn't relevant to this topic, so I'll lay it aside). Then you don't really need a separate category for things without evocations.

                      Unless you mean for "lesser artifacts" to mean things like arms and armor without evocations? Which I'm also fine with - either way, that paragraph could use a couple of examples of what you're intending. I could see an argument here for 2-dot evocationsless wonders, but I'm not completely convinced that there'd be any problem with having these as 1-dot items either.

                      If you don't like those suggestions, then call them "Silent wonders / silent artifacts."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                        The Unsung Hero I didn't expand the Merits for the sake of the math, but it did make the math easier. The good news is all the values are in approximately the right areas, so the system is usable with the standard Merits. I just personally can't sustain twisting a five point scale into something else.
                        Perfectly valid and good to know!


                        I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
                        I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Valles View Post
                          Unawakened, maybe? Or just call them artifacts and the other kind are Awakened Artifacts.

                          Probably not those exact words, but something along those lines feels like it'd be right.
                          That's a good conceptual direction. "Sleeper" might work, but that implies it just needs to be woken up, and I'm not sure I want people deliberately making weaker Artifacts and then adding Evocations with the inevitable Craft charms I'll write for doing that. I'll roll it around in my head and see what pops up in a couple days. Thanks!

                          Originally posted by BlueWinds
                          I'd allow 1-dot artifacts to be made as Masterwork Major projects with an appropriate exotic component (frozen ice -> winterbreath jar, eg), and disallow evocations from 1-dot artifacts entirely. I just have trouble imagining a 1-dot artifact that would have evocations. (my general dislike of evocations isn't relevant to this topic, so I'll lay it aside). Then you don't really need a separate category for things without evocations.

                          Unless you mean for "lesser artifacts" to mean things like arms and armor without evocations? Which I'm also fine with - either way, that paragraph could use a couple of examples of what you're intending. I could see an argument here for 2-dot evocationsless wonders, but I'm not completely convinced that there'd be any problem with having these as 1-dot items either.

                          If you don't like those suggestions, then call them "Silent wonders / silent artifacts.
                          Yeah, the intention for Lesser Artifacts is the creation of "Jadesteel" where armor and weapons can have the stats of Artifacts, but cheaper and easier to produce. I decided against the Jadesteel label because I don't want to limit Lesser Artifacts to being Jade. That implies Jade is somehow a lesser MM, and that doesn't fit into the wider and more forgiving use of MMs in Ex3.

                          I agree that 1-dot Artifacts with Evocations are somewhat silly, and I think I'll add a line about them being exceptionally rare. I don't want to cross the creation process, though. That's potential for confusion for what is by necessity a complex system.

                          This also tells me I need to clarify the intent behind Lesser Artifacts. Doing that now. Thanks!

                          I'm also adding a line about the Merit changes being optional to the rest of the system since nothing breaks.
                          Last edited by Totentanz; 06-25-2016, 03:24 PM. Reason: Added another update.

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                          • #14
                            This is immediately easier to understand than the actual written craft system. I'd be curious to see a reworked charmset, though. I would anticipate that not every charm from the massive printed craft charms will port over, as that isn't necessary or fun... but notes on which can, and how they need to change to mesh with this system would be nice. What might be really fun is craft charms that explicitly interact with exotic components in funky ways... perhaps allowing finished artifacts to be 'modded' or 'reforged' with additional themes (Probably a fairly high level charm, that), or granting a crafter the ability to access a one-time Evocation from an Exotic Component at the cost of losing the component, kind of like an off-brand macguyvery occultist.
                            Last edited by Caffeine Delusions; 06-25-2016, 03:30 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                              That's a good conceptual direction. "Sleeper" might work, but that implies it just needs to be woken up, and I'm not sure I want people deliberately making weaker Artifacts and then adding Evocations with the inevitable Craft charms I'll write for doing that. I'll roll it around in my head and see what pops up in a couple days. Thanks!
                              Well, my own thinking would be that that kind of direction would actually be an opportunity/invitation to say something like, "In order to awaken a Sleeper, you have to do something awesome enough to provide all of the Touchstones for the difference in levels between the Artifact's level as a Sleeper and its level as an Awakened in one go. If you can get the total needed for the Awakened version without the Sleeper's value as starting Touchstones, it just wakes up without intervention by the Craft System."


                              Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

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