HGd10PHB - Chapter 8 - Crafting

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Like many of the Social Skills, Crafting is actually a number of separate skills and abilities. A player may have several Craft <X> skills, each with its own experience and skill bonuses.

Crafting skills are a skill group by themselves because they produce something tangible. There is a product of the labor that is separate from the producer and can be exchanged with others. Everything else falls under the Social Skills such as a profession or a service.

Let's be honest, it's a rare thing to be in a campaign with a GM and players who use Crafting Skills in tabletop to earn a living. For many, It's far more efficient to go out and slay some monsters and collect the loot. What many use Crafting for is similar to what it's used for in MMORPGs or even the computer-based RPGs like one of my all-time favorites, Neverwinter Nights. That is, we use the skill to make better equipment for personal use or for group use. While these instructions will include how to make a living as a non-adventurer for a while, the bulk of this chapter is to provide content to the adventurer's use of the skill. For a more in-depth look at economics within the game, see the Economics Encyclopedia, which provides a more detailed look at crafting and economics as a major game component.

To Learn: Whenever a Craft Skill is not known or has never been used, the base Crafting Skill check is made to see if the character can learn the skill. If they succeed against the Base DS, then they can start earning skill XP in that skill. This process may be bypassed by spending 1 BC in the Specific Skill.

Below is the table for specific Crafting Skills.

Crafting Skills

Crafting Skill Name Description Primary


Secondary Characteristic Base DS
Alchemy Craft potions and elixirs that mimic

spell effects or serve as components

Artifice: Craft complex object requiring multiple

basic crafting skills or moving parts.

>>Buildings Also called architects; craft buildings from

huts to castles, mansions, and skyseekers

>>Clockwork Minion Craft creatures out of gears and movable

parts that can act with semi-independence INT

>>Golems Craft a variety of autonomous, powerful creatures out of a number of different materials INT WIS 40
>>Firearms: Slugthrowers Craft pistols, rifles, shotguns or other mechanical slugthrowers; includes ammo for such weapons INT AGL varies - see weapon
>>Firearms: Energy Weapons Craft pistols, rifles, shotguns or other energy-based personal weapons; includes power source for such weapons INT AGL varies - see weapon
>>Hardware Craft complex mechanical and electrical parts for advanced systems INT AGL 20
>>Rods, Staves, Wands Craft spell storing devices with multiple charges and effects INT SPI 25
>>Transportation: Air Craft vehicles capable of flight in gas-based environments INT AGL 50
>>Transportation: Land Craft vehicles capable of moving on or in the earth INT STR 20
>>Transportation: Sea Craft vehicles for moving on or through liquids INT CON 25
>>Transportation: Void Craft vehicles for moving into and through vacuums and extraordinarily hostile environments INT SPI 80
>>Traps Craft a variety of different traps AGL PRC 15
>>War Engines Craft massive, often mobile, weapons of warfare INT STR 35
Artist 90h/BEA INT/BEA PRC, PRS 15
Bowyer/Fletcher Craft bows and arrows INT PRC 15
Carpentry Work with wood to make a variety of tools, furniture, and structures WIS PRC 15
Demolitions Build complex explosives for specific purposes. INT WIS 25
Farming Cultivate a variety of plants; know how to plant, care for, harvest, and market them. WIS CON 15
Fishing Craft rods, lures, and bait as well as know best where to find different fish AGL WIS 15
Gemology Mining, appraising, cutting, and marketing gems PRC INT 20
Herbalism Seeking, analyzing, harvesting, and marketing a wide variety of plants found in the wild. PRC CON 15
Hunting Catch or kill wild game, skin and cure hides, carve meat for market, knowledge of wild environments PRC WIS 15
Lumberjacking Cuts down trees and processes them into usable lumber. Also knows how to replant to conserve resources. STR WIS 15
Leatherworking Work with cured leather of many types to craft clothing, armor, furniture, and more. AGL CON 15
Mercantilism Create wealth through trade, understanding market trends and economic principles, and currency manipulation. INT PRS 20
Mining/Smelting Harvest raw materials, especially metals, from the earth and refine them into marketable material STR CON 15
Pottery Take clay and shape, fire, and decorate for use. AGL WIS 15
Ranching Raising domestic animals for wool/fur, riding, meat, or other purposes. WIS PRS 15
Smithing Uses a forge to shape different metals into simple usable objects such as weapons, armor, and tools. WIS STR 15
Tailoring Turns raw materials into cloth, and cloth into clothing; familiar with dyes, patterns, and many other related concepts AGL PRC 15
Writing Scribe Scrolls, write books, printing, binding, etc. INT PRS 20

Crafting to Earn a Living

Players can use one or more Crafting Skills to make a living, even to the point of creating an economic empire if they wish. As a lone crafter, they can earn roughly the same amount of arguril in a week of solid work as their check. This means that the character knows the basics of the crafting profession: how to use the tools and how to maintain the workspace, how to do a number of designs, how to solve problems, and even experiment some with the crafting to increase in skill. As they get better, they will gain enough skill to start teaching others and take on apprentices, journeymen, and even more skilled employees.

The following table indicates what each level of a certain Crafting Skill enables them to do economically.

Crafting Wages

Crafting Skill TSB Level Trade-based Ability Approximate Wage/Week

in Arguril

+10 Apprentice Can only do rudimentary crafting 1/10 Skill Check
+20 Journeyman Knows a few tricks; still needs guidance 1/2 Skill Check
+30 Craftsman Knows enough to sell wares at market Skill Check
+45 Expert Has some renown; can take on an Apprentice; permanent location Skill Check + 1/4
+60 Artisan Has larger reputation; can take on a Journeyman and several Apprentices; May have one or two other sub-locations Skill Check + Check/location
+80 Master National renown; Can hire other Craftsmen; multiple locations in region; trades nationwide Skill Check x # locations
+100 Grand Master International renown; Can hire other Experts; multiple locations in nation; trades internationally Skill Check x # locations
+150 Exalted Master Legendary renown; Can hire Artisans and Masters; Near monopolistic control of market; out of the public eye Skill Check ^ # nations

Skill Check - Crafting

When rolling a crafting check to make or repair a product rather than earning a weekly wage, it is a little more complicated. The crafter makes a roll based on the type of crafting to be done versus the Difficulty Score (DS) of the item to be created. The quality of that item is then determined by the result of that roll compared to the DS as shown in the following table.

To determine the DS of the item, add the Base DS of the item from the Crafting Skills table to the DS of the specific item to be crafted. That is the DS of the item.

Quality Table

Check vs DS Quality Modification Value Hours* to Create
-11 or worse Useless Item cannot be used. 0 DS of item
-1 to -10 Inferior Usable; 1/2 base bonus of item rounded down 1/10 base DS of item
Equal to +30 Normal Standard base bonus; cannot hold enchantments base DS of item
30+ to 70+ Superior +1/2 base bonus; can hold enchantments up to 50 DSImprintable x2 base DS of item x 2
+71 to +110 Master x2 base bonus; can hold enchantments up to 100 DS;


x5 base DS of item x5
+111 and up Epic x3 base bonus; can hold enchantments up to any DS;

Imprintable at 1/2 Imprint cost.

x20 base DS of item x20

*See Skill Check - Artificer below.

The hours needed to create the item are equal to the DS of the item. Some items will take longer as noted in their descriptions. For higher quality, determine the time using the above chart. In some cases, spells can be used to craft items or to aid in crafting items. Spells may also allow crafters to work with materials they otherwise could not craft with.

All crafts require the appropriate crafting tools and basic crafting environment to give the best chance of success. If improvised tools are used, the check is made with a –10 penalty. If not in the proper environment (e.g. forge for smithing), the check is made with a -15 penalty. These penalties are cumulative with each other.

On the other hand, tools of higher quality add bonuses based on the above table.

The steps to crafting an item are as follows.

  1. Choose the item and the material it is to be crafted from.
  2. Convert the material cost to arguril and add the DS of the item to find the total cost of the item.
  3. Find the DS from the table in the appropriate Equipment section and add the DS for materials used.
  4. Make an appropriate Craft check representing the amount of time needed to create a Normal quality item. If the check succeeds by no more than 30, then the base amount of time as passed and the item is crafted. If the check succeeds by more than 30, additional hours are spent based on the quality on the chart then the item is created.

You can craft items more quickly than normal. For every hour faster add 10 to the DS. Note that this will likely affect the quality of the item. Conversely, for every four hours additional spent above the base DS of the item, the crafter may add 10 to their Crafting Check. This must be declared before the check is made and once rolled, cannot be added after the fact.

Skill Check - Repairing Items

A character can repair an item by making the same Crafting check they would make to produce the item from raw materials. The time and cost to repair such an item is 1/5th the value of the materials and 1/10 the amount of time.

Skill Check - Alchemy

Alchemists are not necessarily spellcasters, though some of their creations require the help of a mystic. They also provide a significant number of components for spellcasting so there is the availability of barter.

The item crafting is done the same as any other crafting check, but the DS is given in or discovered with the recipe. For those items that require a magical component or spell, it will be listed in the item recipe. Alchemical items, including potions, work the same as spells in terms of crafting. That is, they use the same steps of selecting a Spectrum, a Purpose, and Aspects. One minor difference is that a good number of these are simulated effects and can be subdivided based on volume or quantity. The major difference is the recipe and ingredients which can be far more complicated than a simple Material Component of a spell. Known recipes are listed within the item description.

Number and rarity of ingredients, steps, and tools can lower the DS of the potion. Once the DS of the alchemical item is determined, the appropriate Alchemy Check is made. Alchemical Checks are divided up by Spell Purpose so there are nine. Compare the check against the DS and use the Quality Table to obtain results of the craft. Potions do not hold enchantments on top of their primary purpose and are not Imprintable.

Skill Check - Artificer

Artificers are another specialist skill that allows the crafter to create some pretty amazing things. Artificer, unlike Alchemist, is not a catch-all skill. Aritificer is broken down into several categories, each a specific group or class of artifice. Artifacts are related to spellcasting and may involve casting spells, but more often than not, they do not demand that. It depends on the recipe.

*Artificer crafting time is equal to a number of weeks equal to the DS of the item, not hours as for all other objects.