The new crafting system has some notable changes, and I wanted to (not) briefly explain some of the reasoning behind it.
A lot of the changes stem from making the guilds and crafting ‘make sense’ in an IC term. Why does a sword made of mundane materials (steel, copper, zinc etc) grant additional effects over another sword that isn’t ‘crafted’? How are people able to produce such a thing in a few hours, sometimes in the middle of nowhere, without a workshop? Why are the small band of travelling people the entire Guild, why are they able to do this and seemingly no one else can?
To this end, there is going to be a shift up. The Guilds are now large, cross nation organisations, bound by treaties and agreements, managed away from the gritty frontline that is the heroes journey. Crafting isn’t done on the field (unless you want to), instead it’s done handily below the abstraction layer at one of the many Guild houses that will pop up in or near most major civilisations. That isn’t to say the Guild heads in the player base won’t still have some authority and power, in fact I’m looking to make the job more interesting, to encourage competition and value to the position. But that’s Guild politics, and I hope that most of this can be revealed in game, so watch this space. Back to crafting, and more material changes:
The Lammie limit. This was a fairly crude fix to a fairly big problem, with the stacking of panoply to achieve somewhat overpowered and undesirable effects. It worked, but it wasn’t very logical other than ‘a God did it’. So what’s been introduced is a categorisation of items, and some fairly sensible restrictions (you can only benefit from a weapon you are holding, so the natural limit is two). Clothing has been restricted to one so that you can’t weirdly mix and match armour, but in the same vein you don’t need to craft different bits of it. Talismans are the only catchall limit, reduced to two (which still stacks up to an impressive five useable at once). This is purely for balance reasons, and to encourage difficult choices about what you may need.
The ‘stack’: We have removed the ability to put two lammies on a single item to benefit from both. This never sat well with me, and didn’t sit well with the crafting team either. If you want a combined item, then you may be able to create a recipe combining two different weapon effects into one weapon, at a measurably higher cost. But one item, one lammie.
Repairing items: This has been removed. Sorry all, but it causes issues behind the scenes as working out ‘half’ is always somewhat flexible, and does cause arguments. It’s also a bit of a sop that rewards experienced players over newer players, who have access to potentially a stack of expired items. I’m against furthering the gulf between, and this is a way to do that. But really, I don’t feel it added anything interesting, and simplification is always good.
Crafting quantity limits: Hoo boy, this is the big one. There are many reasons for this, and it wasn’t done lightly, as I appreciate this is a major nerf. But we had got to the point in game where crafting was valueless. A faction only needs one level seven crafter, and everyone else is basically redundant. This was more egregious due to crafting times not being observed, difficult to monitor, and honestly not any fun to try and enforce. Now, your ability to craft in and of itself has value, it is now a resource that can be bought, sold, or traded. This makes guild fees worth paying, and it also makes it worth experienced and skilled crafters delegating and outsourcing work. In recognition of the fact that this is a serious nerf, and that we don’t really have data on how many items will be made compared to the number of crafters, we are looking to allow the purchase of additional craft slots, at what will likely be an exponential cost. So if you really do need to craft two items of your rank, you can, but you’ll pay a premium for it. Or your customer will. Again, we think this will generate a significant amount of game and trade, stimulating what is currently a fairly stagnant economy.
Guild Fees: These are scaled to your level, and will no longer be just poured into the hands of your Guild leader. It never made much sense, it put the pressure of maintaining the list on a player character who is absolutely allowed ulterior motives, and I’m fairly sure in many cases people were not paying Guild dues whilst still benefiting from membership. To which end, you’ll notice that currently, to be a rank one member of a Guild you merely need to sign on the dotted line, your Guild fees are nil. You may still only be a member of a single guild, but if you just want the Guild skill, sign up and that’s that, until you decide you want to craft more. The cost of membership increases with rank, this is to balance out the rank limited amount of crafting you can do. A canny crafter however should easily make their dues back each time. I do want to at this point make it clear; the Guild representative will not seek to punish errors, or be part of a plot around scamming money. This has a semi-OC mechanic behind it, so you can rest assured, the Guild Rep will be FAIR. If you are worried, talk to me, IC preferably, but if you want OOC explanations I will provide those too, and if there are circumstances around non-payment, we can resolve them IC or OOC if needed.
Improvised crafting: Just writing down in the rules what already happens, and making it clear that if you do this, unless it’s explicitly agreed, that item will cease to function at the end of the event. This is to prevent conversations along the lines of trying to use something you created last year, that has no written rules or description, based on a half remembered conversation you had with a ref, who isn’t on the specific encounter. We are very much moving towards a model where if you have something or can do something unusual, it will be written down somewhere. That is for your sake and ours, it means that should someone be unable to attend a game any other ref can clarify or run with whatever the special thing is, and it allows us to audit and monitor unusual situations, without any he said/she said arguments or disagreements.
Magical Materials: Honestly, everything else I’ve done was because I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and whilst I was here I thought I’d look at the rest. No longer is an Acorn more valuable than gold, no more can you get starmetal more cheaply than steel. Mundane materials are assumed to be incidental, covered by a small coin cost in every recipe (which also covers guild equipment, tools, assitants etc…). Instead, the materials used to make better than normal items are better than normal materials, possessing something that makes them rare, unusual, powerful. The descriptions are there for roleplay purposes, the purview may affect research (coming soon), and most importantly, there are only 12! However, I have also realised that I forgot herbs, assume that they will exist, and there will be 4-6 of them, and they will follow similar rules. Instead of a wide mix, we are moving towards larger amounts of a smaller list.
Wondrous Materials: This is very vague for a reason, but it is intended that the majority, if not all level 7 items will require these. It does depend on drop rate, as these cannot be found by normal means, but that is something we need to consider in tandem with the game as a whole, so bear with us on that. But yes, there will be now an opportunity to gain magical items (denoted with a yellow lammie) if very rare reagents are collected. And I mean VERY rare, rituals are still your go-to, but more options are always good.
Recipes: There is no mention of recipes in this document, as they will be added to the overall crafting rulebook when done, but there are a few key thoughts I’d like to share with you. We are definitely going to be pruning the recipe lists down, there is a lot of dross over the years, and items that even we have no idea why they exist or what they do. The cut will be fairly brutal, I want to more than halve each list, but fear not, research will be back to allow you to fill it with more junk as you see fit. For example, we no longer need a recipe for a leather scraper, right? One thing that will be looked at is power creep, certain items will be removed, reduced, or otherwise altered to bring them down to a level, whilst other items will be improved and altered to make their use clearer. At this stage I don’t plan to change the ‘one use items never expire’ rule, but I suspect that as a result of changing magical materials these will end up more expensive, and will still cost time to craft. This hasn’t been discussed yet, so I can’t really go into more detail, but it hasn’t been forgotten. There is also the matter of the ‘stack’, with combining skills and crafted items. This we decided would be easiest to fix at the item level, so recipes will explicitly make it clear what they stack with and don’t. Finally, I intend the crafting lists to be PUBLIC information. This is because scuttlebutt and rumours change the wording on items far too often, and wordings that have been copied over the years diverge from the original text to create unintended effects. Secret crafting will still potentially be possible, under the Improvised crafting rules. How items are made is a closely guarded Guild secret, but the ingredients, rank required, and effect is all available information. This does cause some issues, but I truly feel it solves many more.
I hope this has proved informative, and demonstrates the thought and care that has gone into this process. Please feel free to discuss here in the forum (start a new post), or email any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all soon!
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