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This is a bit of musing on crafting, but I just thought of some interesting things lately. I've been playing a lot of Minecraft lately, with basically a magical-stuff mod, and you have to research to discover specific recipes, and you craft things with a combination of traditional crafting (assembling physical items according to a recipe) AND magical crafting (almost alchemy; you break things down into fundamental components, called "essentia," and you reassemble these essentia into altogether different materials/objects). Most of the time, it doesn't really have anything to do with physical crafting. For example, you can "invent" the magical-affinity metal, Thaumium, via research. Then, you can make from it anything you can make from any other metal (swords, tools, armor, etc.).

 

So, 2 main things here:

 

1) Crafting like this could address a lot of the "why would you go from being a nub to being a master armorsmith?" concerns and such involved with "regular" crafting. You could, for example, invent something like Thaumium, then take that, as simply a raw material, to someone who actually is a master of shaping it and crafting actual equipment. And/or, you could get equipment made, then modify it using magical means.

 

2) Research could be a very nice change from the typical "here are the recipes for things, and you just learn them as you improve your skill" thing. You'd start with basics, and you could advance what you want to advance through research. Want to learn how to make all the best metal/material enhancements? Research metal and materials. Want to make all the best potions? Research the various animal parts and herbs and such. You could still find/acquire any number of recipes through other means (and I sure hope you do, regardless of whether or not anything even resembling research is in as one method of finding out some grouping of recipes).

 

Another notable thing? This gives loot items in the world value, besides just typical loot sale value. Two values, in the case of the Minecraft mod. A) I can use up things to research, based on their various magical aspects (fire, metal/ore, earth/soil, animal/life, etc.), and B) I can break those things down into those essentia if I need to make other things from them. In fact, these things don't even have a sale value in Minecraft. There's not really anyone to sell to. You can barter some things, as far as I know (somewhat random offers), but you can't ever acquire money that you then use to spend universally on any other things. So, it's interesting. I loot all the stuff I need, and the rest? I couldn't care less about it. "I've already researched the crap out of that... don't need it anymore." Or "I've got plenty of stuff made out of fire essentia, so I don't need that." Etc.

 

I'm not saying we copy Minecraft here, and just use the exact same system. But, it did get me thinking. It's not your super-typical, bland "I just make slightly better swords and armor as I go along, out of slightly better and better metals" crafting, and it brings a lot to the table that could, at the very least, be considered and utilized to varying extents.

 

Thoughts?

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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2) Research could be a very nice change from the typical "here are the recipes for things, and you just learn them as you improve your skill" thing. You'd start with basics, and you could advance what you want to advance through research. Want to learn how to make all the best metal/material enhancements? Research metal and materials. Want to make all the best potions? Research the various animal parts and herbs and such. You could still find/acquire any number of recipes through other means (and I sure hope you do, regardless of whether or not anything even resembling research is in as one method of finding out some grouping of recipes).

 

Research would be an awesome feature. In fact, it would be so awesome, I'd say we shouldn't narrow it to crafting recipes. Use research to find obscure information about the setting (which could then lead you to hidden sidequests), and to get spells you couldn't otherwise. It could also work quite well as a money sink.

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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Here is another proposal:

 

By asking around, reading books or researching the materials (thanks for that idea, Lephys) you get hints what raw components combined might produce something interesting. You find lots of those raw materials and can try to combine them.  The better your crafting skill the higher your chance to get a break through and construct the item, but with lousy stats. Through further tries you get better and better at crafting this item. And only with an actual recipe hidden somewhere in the world you are able to eventually make the perfect specimen of this item. Any further information you find in books, research or by asking your friendly blacksmith also improves your ability to craft a better item.

 

The interesting thing about this is that you could look for crafting information anywhere in the world and it would always be helpful (until you finally can craft the perfect specimen)

 

Furthermore: There should also be recipes that build on basic recipes. If you can build the basic item perfectly you can start to look for hints about how that item combined with more stuff gets you item++

Edited by jethro
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Yeah, it's a REALLY basic system in Minecraft. And, of course, Minecraft has pretty basic gameplay systems already. I just kind of thought about how I generally felt about it, since you've still got the issue of going out, collecting things, and coming back with a full inventory, and you have to worry about what you're picking up and what you aren't. There's oodles of stuff I'm not even worried about anymore, because I have "enough" of it. If I've got 3 stacks of something in a chest back at my base, for research, then I don't need any more. I don't feel that I'm missing out on ANYTHING by not picking it up. Even something "valuable," like diamonds. I see diamonds, and if I've got plenty back at the base, I just won't mine them. I don't ever go "Gah... guess I'll have to make room in my inventory," or "Dangit! I was gonna head back to base, but now I've gotta stop and collect these diamonds!"

 

But then, in a typical RPG, if you don't give loot monetary value, it becomes largely useless. I mean, maybe a handful of things have crafting value, or some use in quests, but most things are either valuable to sell, or worthless. I think that, at the very least, by giving almost everything some other value, you make things not NECESSARY to gather all the time, as with money (you always want money, because you can always use money to buy 90% of things from merchants and such).

 

Also, there's a lot of redundancy, so you don't have "Oh no, I need to collect lots more Specific Item X to make a new thing!" In the Minecraft mod, you just need, say, fire aspect to make a new fiery item. There may be 10 different items with fire aspect. So it's not suddenly "Oh noes, drop everything and go hunt down super specific monster X to find item X so that I can make this." Granted, the higher you go, the more often you do need a few specific items. But, in the context of Minecraft, they're pretty much just found along the way (or made from stuff you find along the way). So, in the context of P:E, if you go clear out a cave, you're going to find useful things.

 

Also, I'm not saying nothing should have monetary value. I just think it's interesting that in Minecraft, nothing does, and it provides a good view of all the other values and functions of items without the influence of "OMG THAT EQUALS MORE GOLD PIECES" urges.

 

But, yeah, to put it simply, I think a lot of the crafting could feasibly involve figuring stuff out and uncovering things, rather than necessarily developing extremely fine-tuned dexterous skills. It would blend quite well with other means of crafting. I mean, if you complete a quest in an hour, why would you suddenly be steps closer to masterfully working a forge? But, you might better know technical info and/or recipe specifics to make a certain material or perform a certain enchantment/alchemical process. It makes a lot of sense (in a magical, fantasy context) and provides a lot of potential gameplay/economy benefits.

 

Also, I'd LOVE to see some sort of crafting room/apparatus/interface that allows you to utilize multiple (maybe 3?) party members at a time. The different characters could have varying unique talents/affinities for research/crafting. Maybe it's tied to souls... I dunno. This is all just a foundation idea, so there are a lot of directions it could go.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Personally i've always preferred a skilled and apprentice trained craftsman to be making wonders rather than the itinerant adventurer, unless that adventurers class is described as a crafter. Your suggestions for research and innovation sound very fine to me indeed.

 

What part the protagonist plays in the crafting might be interesting, for instance the Rogue adding his blood with its superior knowledge of weapons and killing, the Fighter manning the bellows as a tireless pumper, the Wizard scribing enchantments into the metal as it is hammered, folded and twisted or perhaps the Chanter singing a legend into the blade as it is crafted.

 

The scene from the old Disney movie "Dragonslayer" springs to mind, where the apprentice works his magic into the dragonslaying spear as it is crafted by the smith, to end with the anvil upon which it was forged being split in twain by the weapon.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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the numbered things are nice, but things having essences that could be used ends up having other problems.  having everything be useful in some fashion for crafting without needing gold for everything is good, but deconstructing things ends up with things like 'why can't i do X and get Y result, the magical crafting stuff is the same basic principal!'

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Yeah, it's a REALLY basic system in Minecraft. And, of course, Minecraft has pretty basic gameplay systems already. I just kind of thought about how I generally felt about it, since you've still got the issue of going out, collecting things, and coming back with a full inventory, and you have to worry about what you're picking up and what you aren't. There's oodles of stuff I'm not even worried about anymore, because I have "enough" of it. If I've got 3 stacks of something in a chest back at my base, for research, then I don't need any more. I don't feel that I'm missing out on ANYTHING by not picking it up. Even something "valuable," like diamonds. I see diamonds, and if I've got plenty back at the base, I just won't mine them. I don't ever go "Gah... guess I'll have to make room in my inventory," or "Dangit! I was gonna head back to base, but now I've gotta stop and collect these diamonds!"

 

...

Also, there's a lot of redundancy, so you don't have "Oh no, I need to collect lots more Specific Item X to make a new thing!"

 

I like the idea of items not being worth money. I try to restrain myself but I always end up playing RPGs partly as a pack mule between dungeon and merchant.

 

The difference between an RPG and minecraft is that crafting is 50% of the game. You have an elaborate and complex build tree. And you literally have to build anything you need. That is why redundancy doesn't hurt the game, you always need to build more. In an RPG stuff you want is already there, building it is in conflict with your motivation to quest for treasure. And if you built the limited stuff you could want you are finished, fast. That's why I think RPG designers should concentrate on the finding/experimenting part of crafting because the need to craft is a relatively weak motivation.

 

Open world RPGs try to make it work by enabling you to build your house or castle and it mostly works, but it is a whole mini-macro-game inside a game.

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the numbered things are nice, but things having essences that could be used ends up having other problems.  having everything be useful in some fashion for crafting without needing gold for everything is good, but deconstructing things ends up with things like 'why can't i do X and get Y result, the magical crafting stuff is the same basic principal!'

Because... just because you can deconstruct an iron sword doesn't mean you have the prowess to reshape that essence EXACTLY into a new, sharpened, masterwork sword. Give me a wrecking ball, and I can demolish a building. Doesn't mean I automatically know how to construct a structurally sound building. Maybe you can take iron swords, and mix their essence with some other metal/objects, and reform it all into a lump of new, distinct metal. THEN, take that metal lump to someone who actually has mastered metal forging, and pay them to make it into a sword for you. That's what I'm talking about. You can make things without just physically making the final products you want. And/or, you could break things down into their essences, then impart their essences onto an existing sword or piece of equipment, once you know how. You'd STILL have to produce the sword separately from the whole magical essence-crafting process.

 

I like the idea of items not being worth money. I try to restrain myself but I always end up playing RPGs partly as a pack mule between dungeon and merchant.

 

The difference between an RPG and minecraft is that crafting is 50% of the game. You have an elaborate and complex build tree. And you literally have to build anything you need. That is why redundancy doesn't hurt the game, you always need to build more. In an RPG stuff you want is already there, building it is in conflict with your motivation to quest for treasure. And if you built the limited stuff you could want you are finished, fast. That's why I think RPG designers should concentrate on the finding/experimenting part of crafting because the need to craft is a relatively weak motivation.

A valid point, but this is precisely why I referenced only the particular Thaumcraft (magic mod) aspect of Minecraft, and not the general design and gameplay of Minecraft, itself. I think there's value in applying aspects of Thaumcraft (the researching and things having essences and producing new materials from essences) are very valuable in considering how to handle player-controlled crafting in an RPG like P:E.

 

As many have said, while it's understandable that people have lives and experiences beyond constant adventuring, it's a bit ridiculous for characters in RPGs to go from 0 skill in Weaponsmithing to the same skill as some guy who's spent his whole life doing nothing BUT crafting weapons at the forge where he lives and works all day every day. So, if you need top-of-the-line crafting (think master-made katanas from Japan, etc.), you probably will never, in all of your adventuring, acquire enough skill to work metal in that fashion as well as some master weaponsmith. BUT, maybe you can use soul magic in such a way that he can't. So, while he can fold steel like a boss, you can work essences of other things INTO the metal material, itself, like a boss. But you can't work the metal itself, because that requires oodles of physical metal-working skill.

 

It's like chemistry. Just because you can mix things and produce different things doesn't mean you can shape and design tools out of them expertly.

 

Also, for what it's worth, I'm not even suggesting directly copying Thaumcraft. I'm just tossing it out there for the consideration of P:E's crafting system, and for evaluation.

 

All that aside, we definitely need a less bland crafting recipe system than the super-structured "you get ultra-specific new recipes as you go, a handful at a time" system that's seen in 99% of RPGs. You know, "Now you can make a steel longsword instead of an iron longsword, because you have 5 more points of Crafting skill." Then, "Now you can make a steel longsword of lightning, that does 9 lightning damage, with no variance, ever, because that's a recipe, and you know it now." Whether it's research, and/or various other means, there needs to be a sense of discovery and dynamics in the structure of recipes.

 

Look at food. People modify recipes all the time. There are probably 1,000 distinct recipes for even something simple, like "pound cake." IF the game lets me make a sword, I should be able to figure out lots of spiffy different exact results to produce in making that sword. Not just "you can make Generic Longsword," which is sold by every merchant in the land and dropped by every foe in the land.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^ Actually, if you wanted to wreck a building and re-use aspects analogous to your sword reference, you would likely do an architectural salvage first; stripping out all of the valuable components (mouldings, copper pipe, display windows, etc.).  This is more expensive and time consuming.  Since time may not be a feasible constraint, you could at least tie expense to the matter.  That is, you would have to both do the stronghold and invest in an alchemy lab to be able to de-construct objects, but also invest gold (as an abstraction for resources, or in place of a philosopher's stone) and have the requisite skill level for what you're attempting.

 

If Obsidian wanted to make this system really robust, they could even have a pre-requisite talent to de-construct magical items.  Personally, I would really like to see an alchemist type character path as viable within the game so this type of depth to crafting would be interesting to me.

 

Also, I like the idea of research and would really like for some quests to be associated with crafting /  alchemy.

Edited by curryinahurry
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As many have said, while it's understandable that people have lives and experiences beyond constant adventuring, it's a bit ridiculous for characters in RPGs to go from 0 skill in Weaponsmithing to the same skill as some guy who's spent his whole life doing nothing BUT crafting weapons ...

I don't care about reality. Crafting has to be fun, an explanation using magic can always be found afterwards.

 

All that aside, we definitely need a less bland crafting recipe system than the super-structured "you get ultra-specific new recipes as you go, a handful at a time" system that's seen in 99% of RPGs. You know, "Now you can make a steel longsword instead of an iron longsword, because you have 5 more points of Crafting skill." Then, "Now you can make a steel longsword of lightning, that does 9 lightning damage, with no variance, ever, because that's a recipe, and you know it now." Whether it's research, and/or various other means, there needs to be a sense of discovery and dynamics in the structure of recipes.

I've seen the you-can-construct-anything (except special weapons) approach in NWN2 and MOTB and it was bland as hell. Other than that full ack.

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I don't care about reality. Crafting has to be fun, an explanation using magic can always be found afterwards.

I care about reality and what we can constructively learn from it and apply to the fun of video games. Crafting doesn't have to match reality to be good, and it doesn't have to completely ignore all things reality just to be fun. You don't have to be able to craft masterwork weapons and armor, yourself, for the crafting to be fun.

 

Another valid option is to have armorers/weaponsmiths/craftsmen at your stronghold (different ones with different styles/strengths/weaknesses/affinities), over which you have direct control for the purposes of crafting. What I mean by "direct control" is that, he works for you and your stronghold, so you get to decide what he works on. It could work similar to the "Send your idle companions on missions while they wait around at your stronghold and you're running about doing things" stuff, where you sort of give him orders, and secure materials for him (either via purchase, or via some kind of stronghold gathering/mining crew, etc.). Then, as he makes things and works with different materials, he progresses and learns new techniques and such. In this manner, none of your party characters would need to worry about intensive crafting skills. AND you don't have to worry about the disconnect of somehow learning to fully master metal-shaping skills WHILE 23/7 adventuring. AND "you," the player, still get to oversee a crafting system that allows the mastery of metal-shaping skills and item/equipment creation. AND it all makes sense.

 

It's like a win-win-win-win... :). But, that's just one possibility. The point being that, there is value to be had from at least trying to avoid unnecessary disconnects, since part of the game (lore, setting, story, limitations) has an objective goal of believability. Even though other parts don't, necessarily, that doesn't mean that we should just not care about minimizing encroachment on that part that does.

 

I've seen the you-can-construct-anything (except special weapons) approach in NWN2 and MOTB and it was bland as hell. Other than that full ack.

What you've seen is an instance of it. I've seen a bridge collapse. Doesn't mean we should avoid building bridges, because they're all destined to collapse. I'd say it'd be more constructive to take a lesson from exactly how and why NWN2's approach was bland as hell, and design something better, rather than foregoing an attempt whatsoever just because one variant failed. That's pretty much how technology has EVER advanced in history. "I think I could probably make tools out of metal. Oh no, there were lots of impurities, and the tools were brittle and broke. Oh, hey, maybe I can figure out a way to screen out those impurities, and then it will work better!"

 

Just imagine if the first people to work iron decided "Working metal is stupid and doesn't work... we should all just give up on metal, obviously."

 

Also, I'm not vying for the "you-can-construct-anything" approach, so I don't know that that's largely applicable to any of the thumbs-upped suggestions for aspects of crafting in this thread. I'm literally saying you should only be able to make certain things. But, I think if you're gonna have fantasy magic crafting, AND you actually allow the permanent crafter people in the world to handle all the crafting masteries (of physical, precision-crafting of materials into quality goods and items), then some type of magical/alchemical crafting for your party members makes a whole lot of sense. Your crafting skill would rely much more upon knowledge and study than it would upon hours and hours and hours and hours of experience, perfecting hammering techniques and gaining the muscle required to work a forge expertly, etc.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Nobody is expecting this game to be like TES where some goon who escaped from prison can became the most bestest blacksmith ever to live in Tamriel in a matter of days.

 

Obviously the player should not be able to become a master smith unless they choose to start as a smith's apprentice and spend 30+ years smithing to become a master smith. Obviously neither of those scenarios is going to occur in P:E.

 

Anyway, research/knowledge only goes so far. You can follow the cookbook recipe, but that doesn't mean you can perfectly pull it off the first time, especially if it's a process that takes precise actions and timing that only an experienced practitioner would have down. Which isn't even taking into consideration the fact that smiths in reality didn't write down recipe books or conduct scientific activities. Smiths passed down their techniques and skills from master to apprentice, not through fancy pants book learnin'.

Edited by AGX-17

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I care about reality and what we can constructively learn from it and apply to the fun of video games. Crafting doesn't have to match reality to be good, and it doesn't have to completely ignore all things reality just to be fun. You don't have to be able to craft masterwork weapons and armor, yourself, for the crafting to be fun.

 

Another valid option is to have armorers/weaponsmiths/craftsmen at your stronghold (different ones with different styles/strengths/weaknesses/affinities), over which you have direct control for the purposes of crafting. What I mean by "direct control" is that, he works for you and your

Exactly. You had no problem to "fix" whatever reality problem was there with a (in this case somewhat bigger) change. It has to have a semblance to reality, the more the better, but not follow reality exactly. What I don't like is that the phrase "because in reality" is too often used as an argument and often to limit the range of possibilities. That an adventurer has a problem of being master in fighting AND blacksmithing at the same time is a (tiny) detail that a game designer can avoid if the opportunity presents itself, but if not, so what. 90% of PRGs break this detail, not only with blacksmithing, but also with thief skills or persuasion skills. My gritty fighter also knows how to talk and charm people in high society while robbing their purse. If he can do that, master blacksmith is really not that far off.

 

Reality should be the source of our inspiration, but it should not limit it before we have even created something that is fun and works

 

 

I've seen the you-can-construct-anything (except special weapons) approach in NWN2 and MOTB and it was bland as hell. Other than that full ack.

What you've seen is an instance of it. I've seen a bridge collapse.

 

I was short in my reply because we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of crafting special things versus craft anything in other threads extensively. I don't want to rehash all the arguments, just state my opinion that craft-anything is not necessarily the golden way out of bland.

 

I believe what was missing in most of those RPG crafting systems was exploration and experimentation, irrespective of craft-recipe or craft-anything. Both of our proposals try to address these points it seems.

Edited by jethro

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think of bags of holding, now what if you made it so that you could deconstruct it for the essence in order to make quivers of holding, that would be cool right?  now someone plays the game and decides to make a sling of holding, but of course hurling what is in the sling means everything would come out, either that or you need to actually reach in to pull out what you want, and thus doesn't work.  which means that you'd have to always make it that way otherwise someone could make a sling of holding.  of course by now you are asking yourself what is so bad about a sling of holding?  nothing in it of itself, but if someone can make a normal sized sling of holding why not an over sized one?  say one that is large enough to shoot cannon balls, which slingers did in fact do such things, so it isn't impractical.  now since cannonballs are siege weapons and balance meant that such things would deal damage through resistances, with the explanation that such massive damage can't just be shrugged off.  so now the player is asking why he can't have such a weapon, or maybe magic won't let him, so he asks why he can't make a sling for just that anyway, he has the strength so what is the issue?  maybe you can make such a thing, and the damage out of it is huge, and in line with getting hit with siege stuff in the game too, so the person who built up his character to deal massive damage from his greatsword wonders why his weapon is subject to resistances when it does the same or more than the siege stuff.

i am not saying that deconstructing bags of holding should or shouldn't be able to get you something else bag of holdingish, it is just an example of how things can get with such a system.  i am not saying it is a bad idea, but minecraft is a different game.  it has weird logic as far as how mundane things work, like punching trees to get wood, and just by laying out logs you get sticks and planks and such.  in a game that holds on to some semblance of realism of how things work, essences is the wrong way to go about crafting.

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Anyway, research/knowledge only goes so far. You can follow the cookbook recipe, but that doesn't mean you can perfectly pull it off the first time, especially if it's a process that takes precise actions and timing that only an experienced practitioner would have down. Which isn't even taking into consideration the fact that smiths in reality didn't write down recipe books or conduct scientific activities. Smiths passed down their techniques and skills from master to apprentice, not through fancy pants book learnin'.

I don't follow... are you trying to respond to an alleged vie for SWORD recipes? Because, I was talking about stuff that literally has recipes (chemistry, food, etc.). Can you measure something in a beaker, then slowly pour it into something else, or can you not? Can you stir things and cook them for the right amounts of time, or not? Things that are 99.9% knowledge, because the whole "capability" aspect is pretty much part of the basic skillset of almost any human.

 

Again, I apologize if I was somehow unclear, but I think people are missing one of the main points of what I've said thus far: I'm looking at crafting that specifically doesn't involve random people becoming master artisans despite spending ultra-extensive amounts of time artisaning, but is still interesting and varied crafting that allows for a lot of useful progress and creation to occur. Not "Hey, I think we should be able to make swords out of melted frogs, magically. That way, there's no need for artisan skill! ^_^"

 

And I'm sorry if I'M the one mistaking other people's words, here, but it keeps looking quite like that's the idea people are somehow taking from what I've said, as I keep getting responses that seem to be addressing a problem with circumventing artisan skill, which is not something I want to do.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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... say one that is large enough to shoot cannon balls, which slingers did in fact do such things, so it isn't impractical...

So you think that a cannon ball would keep his speed after leaving the sling of holding and so do much more damage than a simple sling ?

 

Wouldn't it be more likely that as soon as the ball regains it's normal weight, its speed would drop dramatically because of momentum conservation. Because speed = momentum / mass. Higher mass, lower speed. Or better said the same speed as if the sling of holding were a simple sling.

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Anyway, research/knowledge only goes so far. You can follow the cookbook recipe, but that doesn't mean you can perfectly pull it off the first time, especially if it's a process that takes precise actions and timing that only an experienced practitioner would have down. Which isn't even taking into consideration the fact that smiths in reality didn't write down recipe books or conduct scientific activities. Smiths passed down their techniques and skills from master to apprentice, not through fancy pants book learnin'.

Again, I apologize if I was somehow unclear, but I think people are missing one of the main points of what I've said thus far: I'm looking at crafting that specifically doesn't involve random people becoming master artisans despite spending ultra-extensive amounts of time artisaning, but is still interesting and varied crafting that allows for a lot of useful progress and creation to occur. Not "Hey, I think we should be able to make swords out of melted frogs, magically. That way, there's no need for artisan skill! ^_^"

 

We're obviously in agreement on the "No TES-style laymen becoming master craftsmen through smacking an anvil 5000 times," but my point was that the research you were stressing wouldn't result in a competent level of skill in any given field of craftsmanship, because, like with all skills, it's "practice makes perfect," not "read enough books and your motor skills will reprogram themselves as though they'd had a decade of experience."

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... say one that is large enough to shoot cannon balls, which slingers did in fact do such things, so it isn't impractical...

So you think that a cannon ball would keep his speed after leaving the sling of holding and so do much more damage than a simple sling ?

 

Wouldn't it be more likely that as soon as the ball regains it's normal weight, its speed would drop dramatically because of momentum conservation. Because speed = momentum / mass. Higher mass, lower speed. Or better said the same speed as if the sling of holding were a simple sling.

 

the idea is that you could use a sling with a cannonball without needing the strength to do so.  and as far as speed = momentum/mass goes it is you are right, if the mass gained is considered to be at rest then the cannonball would decelerate rapidly, however if the mass gained matches the velocity of the original object then it wouldn't decelerate rapidly.  now consider that heavy objects are pulled from bags of holding all the time, yet they never fly out of people's hands while trying to accelerate to the earth's rotation, and they also don't unbalance people currently balancing more so than if they had already been holding the object.  as an object in motion wants to remain in motion and and object at rest wants to stay at rest, as well as every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, thus pulling an object out of a bag would immediately result if dramatic demand for kinetic energy as is enters the material plane, unless it gains external energy (as in from a hand while in the pocket dimension for lifting it out, and the container for the spin of the earth) which doesn't exert forces onto other objects (which would cause the bag to exhibit the characteristics of mass and thus defeat the purpose of a bag of holding), all possible due to magic.

let's get another example of siege weapons and magic of extra strong effects:

a ballista and a shrinking spell

shrunk down it is a light crossbow, then on uttering a command word it grows to full size

loading a ballista requires 3 people (as per 3.0 DnD player's handbook) to load it as a full round action and one person to fire it as a standard action

a light crossbow requires one person to load as a move action and 1 person to fire it as a standard action

uttering a command word is a free action

loading the pocket ballista takes a move action, then uttering the command word a free action and firing it a standard action, and thus you achieve damage well beyond what normal weapons can do.

 

this is basic stuff, i'm sure i could come with far more complicated things, but the point is if you have a free form system you need it to have some grounding in reality otherwise people might make leaps you didn't intend, logical or not.  disassembling a magical sword to get the magical blade then using it to make another magical sword with the same blade (and thus the same type of sword) would make more sense, but probably not result in what the OP wanted with the free form system (a glorified KoTOR system).

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the idea is that you could use a sling with a cannonball without needing the strength to do so.  and as far as speed = momentum/mass goes it is you are right, if the mass gained is considered to be at rest then the cannonball would decelerate rapidly, however if the mass gained matches the velocity of the original object then it wouldn't decelerate rapidly.

"mass gained matches the velocity of the original object"? You can't compare mass with velocity. But granted, even if the velocity drops you might get to apply the advantage of the sling (which produces a higher momentum than a simple throw with your arm because of higher velocity).

 

Permanent magic effects are probably the best source of paradoxes you can find in magic systems. Because you get the magic effect for free.

 

now consider that heavy objects are pulled from bags of holding all the time, yet they never fly out of people's hands while trying to accelerate to the earth's rotation, and they also don't unbalance people currently balancing more so than if they had already been holding the object.

True, this seems to indicate that momentum is not conserved. Or ... Magic ;-).

 

let's get another example of siege weapons and magic of extra strong effects:

a ballista and a shrinking spell

...

loading the pocket ballista takes a move action, then uttering the command word a free action and firing it a standard action, and thus you achieve damage well beyond what normal weapons can do.

You forgot that shrinking the ballista is part of a load/fire cycle. Now your ballista does some more damage per minute but wastes a lot of mage spells that could be used to deal damage directly.

 

this is basic stuff, i'm sure i could come with far more complicated things, but the point is if you have a free form system you need it to have some grounding in reality otherwise people might make leaps you didn't intend, logical or not.  disassembling a magical sword to get the magical blade then using it to make another magical sword with the same blade (and thus the same type of sword) would make more sense, but probably not result in what the OP wanted with the free form system (a glorified KoTOR system).

Because magic breaks laws of physics you have hundreds of paradoxes for free. A grounding in reality doesn't help, you left it already. The only solution is constraining what you can do with magic. A game master in PnP sessions does this automatically, he either accepts an idea or he just says no. If you don't constrain, then magic becomes unbalanced as can be seen in Oblivion (or Skyrim?) where combination of spell effects simply leads to overpowered spells. But as long as people have fun with being overpowered it works for bethesda :-). But cRPGs are never really completely free form, most paradoxes are simply avoided by the limits of the program.

Edited by jethro
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I like the idea that the better you are at crafting, the more parts of items you can replace/repair/upgrade.

 

So say you have a sword, a novice can only fix the blade and hilt, a journeyman can add/edit/remove the guard, master can fix the entire weapon

 

And also that as you improve you gain more options in upgrading the hilt/blade/guard/sheath, etc.

 

Some upgrade components need to have the correct recipe/knowledge to make and build (needing cross-skill checks) But these really only improve the repertoire of modular upgrades you can give weapons.

 

Likewise for armour or guns. Just more parts of the item that can be worked on, more options while working on that part, and extra options only through pursuing recipes in gameplay.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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We're obviously in agreement on the "No TES-style laymen becoming master craftsmen through smacking an anvil 5000 times," but my point was that the research you were stressing wouldn't result in a competent level of skill in any given field of craftsmanship, because, like with all skills, it's "practice makes perfect," not "read enough books and your motor skills will reprogram themselves as though they'd had a decade of experience."

I believe we're in agreement on "learning lots of stuff doesn't allow you to forge masterwork katanas," also. Hence my clarification. I just wanted to reassure you that, regardless of how it may have seemed, I was in no way seeking for research and knowledge gain to directly bestow physical skills and abilities and muscle memory upon your character.

 

I WILL say that I'm a fan of the idea of modularly customizing your equipment (@ JFSOCC). However, I still very much believe that the masterwork forging and such should stay in the full-time smith's hands. Maybe you can give them alchemical metals, which they can then use their extensive knowledge to forge things from, and you can get various different styles/materials of blades and/or guards, etc., made out of from the smithies. Then, you can assemble those, etc. I realize this wouldn't work for every single piece of equipment. But something like replacing a damaged hilt is probably something your character could feasibly do, even if it took a little forgework.

 

I think it would be cool if you could take a background in smithing (for example) at character creation, and be pretty handy with various things. But, it makes sense that it's HIGHLY unlikely you'd MASTER smithing. I mean, even if in the game, you can get 100 Smithing skill. The maximum amount of smithing skill available to you should still always be mid-range, as far as the skills of all the smiths in the world goes.

 

At least, in the right setup, that would be the case. And there would still be plenty of crafting to be done, without having to step on master smithies' toes.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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the idea is that you could use a sling with a cannonball without needing the strength to do so.  and as far as speed = momentum/mass goes it is you are right, if the mass gained is considered to be at rest then the cannonball would decelerate rapidly, however if the mass gained matches the velocity of the original object then it wouldn't decelerate rapidly.

"mass gained matches the velocity of the original object"? You can't compare mass with velocity. But granted, even if the velocity drops you might get to apply the advantage of the sling (which produces a higher momentum than a simple throw with your arm because of higher velocity).

 

Permanent magic effects are probably the best source of paradoxes you can find in magic systems. Because you get the magic effect for free.

 

all mass has velocity, and if that velocity matches is what i meant, i am not saying that mass equals velocity or some such nonsense, and yes magic creates paradoxes like crazy.

now consider that heavy objects are pulled from bags of holding all the time, yet they never fly out of people's hands while trying to accelerate to the earth's rotation, and they also don't unbalance people currently balancing more so than if they had already been holding the object.

 

 

True, this seems to indicate that momentum is not conserved. Or ... Magic ;-).

 

let's get another example of siege weapons and magic of extra strong effects:

a ballista and a shrinking spell

...

loading the pocket ballista takes a move action, then uttering the command word a free action and firing it a standard action, and thus you achieve damage well beyond what normal weapons can do.

You forgot that shrinking the ballista is part of a load/fire cycle. Now your ballista does some more damage per minute but wastes a lot of mage spells that could be used to deal damage directly.

there is a glove that stores a weapon by the same principle in DnD, it is a free action to grow and shrink it, applying the magic to a larger weapon you can get this result, same principal used.

 

this is basic stuff, i'm sure i could come with far more complicated things, but the point is if you have a free form system you need it to have some grounding in reality otherwise people might make leaps you didn't intend, logical or not.  disassembling a magical sword to get the magical blade then using it to make another magical sword with the same blade (and thus the same type of sword) would make more sense, but probably not result in what the OP wanted with the free form system (a glorified KoTOR system).

Because magic breaks laws of physics you have hundreds of paradoxes for free. A grounding in reality doesn't help, you left it already. The only solution is constraining what you can do with magic. A game master in PnP sessions does this automatically, he either accepts an idea or he just says no. If you don't constrain, then magic becomes unbalanced as can be seen in Oblivion (or Skyrim?) where combination of spell effects simply leads to overpowered spells. But as long as people have fun with being overpowered it works for bethesda :-). But cRPGs are never really completely free form, most paradoxes are simply avoided by the limits of the program.

 

as the idea for crafting with essence is to essentially create a free form method to craft magical items i am simply pointing out flaws that occur when you do this, thus making something less free form will fix these issues, such as KotORs method (power crystals and various parts).  minecraft has obvious paradoxes already, so the inclusion of others isn't as big of a deal, but in the IE games there was some semblance of normalcy, and thus obvious paradoxes would be far more jarring.  so when people see that you can do X with an object via magic, and wish to do X to another object which should produce superior results and you can't then you have a quirk.  if you have too many of these in a system that alludes itself to being free form then it becomes pointless.  if you lack those quirks then it becomes a system which can break the balance of the game.  thus using enchanted parts that already exist can restrict their use in a way that doesn't feel as cheap as having custom enchanting that only works on a limited set of enchantments and objects.  in other words magical items are magical due to some unknown process with unknown restrictions, and we just use the result to make things, instead of tinkering with magic itself.

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But, it makes sense that it's HIGHLY unlikely you'd MASTER smithing.

 

If you use the middle ages as a model you're right that it would be unlikely but certainly not impossible for a character to be a "master" smith.  Apprentices could begin as early as ten years of age, with a term varying from 5 to 9 years (usually 7).  At the end of their apprenticeship they would serve as journeyman.  To be  considered a master craftsman required a sum of money and the fabrication of a single "masterwork"" which was judged by other masters.  So a very exceptionally gifted individual could achieve master smith status in his late teens, and possibly in his mid teens.  Unlikely?  Yes.  Impossible?  Not at all.  Since adventurers can be considered as somewhat exceptional to begin with, I don't see that it's too much of a stretch to allow characters to craft weapons or armor.

 

I've always preferred rune based enchantment systems for weapons and armor.  It's fairly simple to create a wide variety of possible runes and make them interchangeable (perhaps as in Dragon Age Origins) to create an almost endless number of possible combinations.   And the power of the enchantments can be moderated in a number of ways.    

 

I've also liked some of the crafting styles I've seen in certain games where you can combine items like iron spikes with a normal club to produce a spiked club, 

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If you use the middle ages as a model you're right that it would be unlikely but certainly not impossible for a character to be a "master" smith.  Apprentices could begin as early as ten years of age, with a term varying from 5 to 9 years (usually 7).  At the end of their apprenticeship they would serve as journeyman.  To be  considered a master craftsman required a sum of money and the fabrication of a single "masterwork"" which was judged by other masters.  So a very exceptionally gifted individual could achieve master smith status in his late teens, and possibly in his mid teens.  Unlikely?  Yes.  Impossible?  Not at all.  Since adventurers can be considered as somewhat exceptional to begin with, I don't see that it's too much of a stretch to allow characters to craft weapons or armor.

But the people who became master smiths weren't traveling around hunting dragons and traveling from coastline to coastline, foiling political plots and running from assassins their whole lives. They were largely working full-time as a smith, in one town or another, practicing every single day via actual production. So, yes, I'm totally fine with characters being allowed to make weapons and armor. But I do feel it's a bit extreme to say "You can literally forge the greatest sword the land has ever seen, through sheer metal-working mastery of your hammer and forge... on your lunch break in between running errands for that guild and figuring out a way to obtain that artifact from those ruins so you can save the world."

 

By the same token, while I'm all for any system (like the rune-type systems) that lets you further customize your stuff with an array of options, I'd prefer crafting systems that let you actually CRAFT things. Rune systems just feel really, really rigid. Like "Don't worry... I know there are only 10 different runes, and so that's basically just 10 effects, and if you apply them to things, they get those effects, but it's all nice and wrapped neatly, design-wise! All balanced and everything!" You don't really get to explore crafting options. The major thing that most crafting systems are missing is a feeling of uniqueness. It hardly ever feels like you made things your own way.

 

It's very much the same, in that respect, as character builds. If there's hardly any variance in what you can choose or how you can progress your abilities and feats and such, then it just feels like you're a cookie-cutter. It doesn't feel significant. Like... whatever you do out of the options with which you're presented, you're not really going to affect much. And sure, that's easily balanceable and everything, but MAN is it bland.

 

So, yeah, while I'd like to be able to make a sword instead of buying it, I also don't want crafting to just feel like some alternative to money. "Well, if you don't have the money, but you have the stuff, you can also obtain that thing you can buy." I want to be able to craft things that I can't buy (or that are quite rare to buy), and I want to be able to craft DIFFERENT things in DIFFERENT ways. Things that are significantly different because of my choices. I want someone else who plays the game to go "Oh, hey, that's pretty clever." And not "Oh, I see, you went with an ice sword instead of a fire sword. I did fire instead."

 

So, yeah, that's pretty vague; there are a number of ways in which to achieve this. But, I'd like for it to be achieved. And, basically, if we can't become ultra-master smiths, I don't want the entire crafting system to consist of getting up to pretty-decent arms and armor (all of which could just be bought from other smiths/merchants), and that's it. OR maybe also having some runes (which can all also be bought by merchants) that you can plug into them. Hence my observation of Minecraft's Thaumcraft mod, in which it's actually pretty fun to make things via magic/alchemy (which is a common counterpart to simple, physical crafting in a lot of games). I just think we can at least draw from the idea behind that, if not copy the exact mechanic. And, like I said, it gives a LOT of typically junk-except-in-VERY-specific/limited-situations items an actual purpose (you can break swords down to get some kind of metal/ore essence, then reassemble that into some new type of ore chunk. THEN, you can make even a basic sword out of THAT ore, and it's got different properties from the get-go than an iron sword. Maybe you can then break other things down and enchant/infuse the sword with different properties or abilities. It's just got the potential to be a very robust system.

 

In other words, as fine as gemstone/rune socketing systems are, I think we can go above and beyond.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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But the people who became master smiths weren't traveling around hunting dragons and traveling from coastline to coastline, foiling political plots and running from assassins their whole lives. They were largely working full-time as a smith, in one town or another, practicing every single day via actual production. So, yes, I'm totally fine with characters being allowed to make weapons and armor. But I do feel it's a bit extreme to say "You can literally forge the greatest sword the land has ever seen, through sheer metal-working mastery of your hammer and forge... on your lunch break in between running errands for that guild and figuring out a way to obtain that artifact from those ruins so you can save the world."

 

 

Who's to say that the weapon smith and the enchanter / runecaster need to be  the same person?   It may work out that way but it doesn't have to be like that.

 

 

By the same token, while I'm all for any system (like the rune-type systems) that lets you further customize your stuff with an array of options, I'd prefer crafting systems that let you actually CRAFT things. Rune systems just feel really, really rigid. Like "Don't worry... I know there are only 10 different runes, and so that's basically just 10 effects, and if you apply them to things, they get those effects, but it's all nice and wrapped neatly, design-wise! All balanced and everything!" You don't really get to explore crafting options. The major thing that most crafting systems are missing is a feeling of uniqueness. It hardly ever feels like you made things your own way.

 

 

Again you're thinking small.  Instead of 10 different runes try 20.  Instead of a single slot think 3 or 4.  You could add different elemental damage, defensive runes, sharp edges in virtually an endless array.  Okay it wouldn't really be limitless - it's still a finite number but you get the idea.  We're talking 100s of combinations.   

 

 

 

And, like I said, it gives a LOT of typically junk-except-in-VERY-specific/limited-situations items an actual purpose (you can break swords down to get some kind of metal/ore essence, then reassemble that into some new type of ore chunk. THEN, you can make even a basic sword out of THAT ore, and it's got different properties from the get-go than an iron sword. Maybe you can then break other things down and enchant/infuse the sword with different properties or abilities. It's just got the potential to be a very robust system.

 

 

I think you could accomplish the same thing by simply learning a metallurgy based skill and refining a different type of ore.  Going thru the breaking down process seems a little contrived but I see where you are going with it. 

 

I would like to see a system that didn't rely on *essences* because that's been done already and it didn't feel right.  It worked really well and was well designed but it just lacked something.

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