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That actually looks really nice.  

 

Thing is, it also looks like it's probably going to "work" in exactly the way that Lephys is wanting to avoid.  But, we'll have to wait and see what Obsidian comes up with.

Edited by neo6874
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I think you slightly misunderstand what it is I'd prefer to avoid. I want to avoid a level of simplicity that makes a crafting system merely an alternative procurement system. I mean... how silly would it be to have a Looting skill, for instance? "Oh, your Looting is 50? Well, NOW when you kill a Troll and 3 Orcs, you'll get a Crescent Axe of Flame +2, 8D!" Pretty silly, right? Or a Buying skill? "Oh, you have 50 Buying? Well, NOW, you know the recipe for a Bastard Sword; just get 500gp, and click a button to turn it into a Bastard Sword! 8D!"

 

There's no point in having a crafting system that's just "you spent items instead of currency, and the forge was the vendor." Not to me, at least. Not with today's level of technology and coding know-how. I think we can actually have a system that allows for significant decision-making and exploration. Everything else in an RPG has gotten some form of dynamics now, over the years. And with crafting, we just settle for a tiered hierarchy of collections and trades, and call it a day. It's a bit silly. Everything is designed to make it as effortless and unobtrusive as possible supposedly because crafting's just lame and not worth anyone's time, but then, it's lame and not worth anyone's time because of the minimum-effort design, for one thing.

 

No one complains that combat takes up more than 1.2-seconds of button-clicking of their time. Why? Because it's fun. Why? Because the design makes it fun and engaging. Combat isn't just-plain inherently fun. Trust me... I've played some games in which it's treated almost as crudely as crafting typically is, and it's just as boring and sigh-worthy. And no, I'm not saying crafting should be equally as time-requiring as combat throughout the entire game. But, it also doesn't need to be as miniscule in scope as possible.


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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Well, the picture that got linked was pretty "simplistic" insofar as depth.

 

List of what you can make:

Gladius

Shield

(more stuff)

 

Technique 1 (dropdown) - "Masterwork +d4 DMG"

Technique 2 (dropdown) - "Hardened Edge vsDR +3"

 

Material (pictograph list at the bottom)

 

Item Description

[item] is typically used by infantry ... blah blah more flavor text.

Edited by neo6874

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That's true (I missed that picture before). And yet, it's still better than a simple recipe list, in which "Gladius" and "Masterwork Gladius" are merely two different products you can make with two different recipes.

 

Again, ultimately, all the craftable items are coded into the game somewhere, do you're fundamentally dealing with a huge recipe list. But the system itself doesn't have to be presented to the player as a mere shopping list.

 

Dynamicize the way in which materials and resources can be obtained and/or used, and you've a system that's better still.

 

Besides, I don't see a lack of value in discussing potentials for crafting system improvements merely because P:E doesn't end up using them.

 

Essentially, the farther you can get from a shopping list with resources as currency, the better (to a degree). So, it's not about going a certain distance, but about not settling for the most basic implementation known to mankind, that we've seen in games for about 20 years now.

 

Plus, look at it. You've got things like your crafting skill affecting material loss, so that you've got more than just a number goal to reach to be ABLE to craft the item, but also the choice of boosting your crafting further to be able to make more items out of fewer materials. And the techniques could add all kinds of options to the crafting of even basic equipment. You could have different techniques that are exclusive to material types, and all manner of methods by which you obtain these techniques (not to mention the schematics, themselves). Plus, it looks like the specific techniques you attempt to apply will further affect the difficulty of that specific crafting attempt, as well as (one would think) factors such as material loss chance, etc. It might even be possible to salvage things you find to gain metals/materials (since, in that screenshot, it appears material stocks will be measured via weight/mass and not quantity of items like ore chunks and/or ingots.)

 

That's apparently just a screenshot from Age of Decadence, but, still... if P:E were to use a very similar system, it would still be a good ways beyond the level of oversimplicity that I'd like nothing to do with.

Edited by Lephys

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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I built one for NWN(2?) where it followed (more or less) the actual 3.0 or 3.5 ed. rules, with some license taken with the DR (generally on things not covered, such as cooking or smelting, etc).
 
As I recall it, if you wanted to make something:

  • DMG says "If they wanna make a Dagger, Short Sword, etc; use Table a.b 'Short Swords' to get the DR"
  • Player rolls d20+modifier against DR
  • If they hit the DR, then they progress 1d worth of  making the thing (unless <1d left, then it's done)
  • if they get DR+X on the roll, then "Masterwork". (Don't remember what it was for things that took more than a day, you might've needed to declare trying to make it MW at the start, and getting the +X to the DR always).

It's been ages, so I don't entirely recall the entire process but it was something like this.

  • Newbie to the server is L0 across the board in all crafting "schools" (smelting, mining, smithing, enchanting, whatever)
  • Could attempt anything, using just base stat bonuses (STR/WIS/etc), but could generally only do the low-end things (mine copper/tin, smelt either ... making bronze was difficult, but doable ... small shield/sword ... light armor)
  • could also pay a trainer to get (up to) +3 in any field, was about 75% of the cost of just failing a lot ... since with the way the math worked out (and STR/DEX/WIS/etc bonuses), +3 was enough to pretty much make all the "normal" things with 100% success.
  • Masterwork was random (DR+10 or something), though you could choose to make things MW just by choosing that option.

The "blueprints" were pretty simplistic - just a scrap of paper that you (the player) read to know the things you needed, e.g. 5 metal bars to make a longsword ... though rather than carry around 100 scraps of paper, I did something that allowed you to add them to a book (scrollcase, probably) ... so you (the player) read it, knew what you needed and went from there.

  • OK, I need 5 Iron to make a sword (obtain it)
  • 5 Iron + "Recipe Book" (or single recipe sheet, if you didn't have the book yet) into the forge (close forge)
  • Menu giving choices like
    • Armor, light
    • Armor, heavy
    • Swords, short
    • Armor, light, Masterwork +1
    • Swords, long, Masterwork + 
  • The list was dependent on what recipes you obtained already/put in the forge, so a newbie would see nothing ... someone with a "Short Sword" recipe would see "Swords, Short" and "Swords, Short, Masterwork +n" (and so on).
  • Options for the masterwork were pretty much there to just destroy the input materials (since fail = lost things) rather than making 3 regular swords for every +1 masterwork one (on average).
  • After choosing a category (e.g. Sword, Short) you'd see each weapon falling into that category you had a thing for (and the materials for, IIRC ... so you wouldn't see "Iron Dagger" if you put Bronze into the thing) ... and each one would say the GP cost for consumables (e.g. "Bronze Dagger - 4GP").  I don't think "Masterwork" cost anything extra, because it was chance-based.

 

Enchanting worked similarly, but you didn't need to put the "recipe book" in with the thing to be enchanted ... recipe was more like "Take one masterfully crafted [armor|weapon] and cast

  1. to create +n Firey weapon (or +n armor of flame resistance)." So, take thing, put in "enchanting table", cast fireball.

 

Menu "You cast fireball (L9 Caster).  This will create a +6d6 weapon or +25% Fire DR, and cost 50k GP (numbers made up for discussion here).  You can also choose to cast it as a L5-L8 caster ... 

  • L5 = +1d6 weapon, 5% DR, 15k GP
  • L6 = whatever, 17,500
  • etc ...

 

Granted the NWN "menus" were pretty bad (just chat dialogs really) so it was nowhere near as pretty as something that could be done by the game creators themselves (although ... bioware did pretty horribly with the NWN "crafting" in the expansions).

Edited by neo6874

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That's a pretty cool system, given what you were working with.

 

Here's something else I just noticed:

 

cRPGs basically evolved from PnP rulesets, right? Well, in PnP, the whole process is basically just mathematically simulated. Why? Because we don't have an interface, or something other than dice rolls and numbers to represent what's going on. So, you can't really offer the player "unique gameplay," because it's the same gameplay as the rest of the game. It's the same reason you couldn't give PnP players epic, real-time combat, but a video game can.

 

And, in that same way, imagine if you were playing a game like P:E, and combat was just a bunch of turn-based dialogue prompts, asking you what you want to do. It would probably be a bit less exciting than real-time (or even graphical turn-based) combat, right?

 

That's kind of the thing I'm getting at, with most crafting systems. Even though there is a lot you can do with the structure and complexity of the math itself, we tend to not go much beyond the behind-the-scenes math when it comes to the entire crafting system. In a game, I mean.

 

*GASP*... I just got an idea. Okay, this is related, but it's not really INCREDIBLY related to what we were just immediately talking about. But, just to crafting, and P:E.

 

What if the crafting system were built around scripted events? I know, I know, I just talked about dialogue options being lame, heh. But, I just mean, what if, to represent the actual crafting process, you sort of have "Oh no, this happened" or something, and you have an illustrated representation for whatever it is you're trying to make, along with choices of what to attempt to do about the current circumstances? So, the crafting system wouldn't be nothing BUT a scripted event, but the crafting process could make use of them.

 

*shrug*

 

That was just a rogue thought. Sorry.

 

Anywho, back to what I was saying, I'm not as concerned with the accurate simulation of all aspects of crafting as I am with the accurate representation (abstracted though it may be in the actual controls/gameplay) of the dynamics of the crafting process. What makes one smith in town produce better swords than the other smith, if they're using the same supplies and facilities? That sort of thing. Again, I'll look to combat:

 

You have plenty of things already determined for you. But you still get to decide how to use the tools you have, and how to react to what's going on. Sometimes you BARELY win a combat, when, if you play it again, you might win it with ease. Same tools... same player skills, etc. You get to actually influence the active process of combat, rather than it JUST being some math and dice rolls, then either victory or defeat.

 

Crafting just so often feels like blackjack. You just have some values, roll some dice, and see what happens immediately afterwards. Did you get closer to 21 than the dealer? YOU WIN! Did you not, or you went over 21? YOU LOSE! Worse is when you can't "lose" (with crafting), and there's absolutely no fluctuation in the possible outcome. You have 5 ingots? You have 20 skill? You clicked a button? *POOF*... SWORD!

 

Soooooo bland. So bland. It's absolutely no different from looking at a merchant's wares, having 50gp, having NO skill, and clicking a button. So, basically, points spent in a skill = free/discounted goods. The only dynamic is the list of goods you can acquire or not acquire via the crafting "system." That's the simplest I think we can get it. And a lot of games still do that.

 

Now, I'm not saying P:E's going to do that, but... I just feel like we can do better than that, in this day and age. And I encourage thought on the possibilities of how we can do better, and what would make it better. And I think that, at the very least, you've got to make the system itself deeper... more substantial. There's got to be more to it than needing resources, having resources, and clicking a button. Something engaging. Something that lets you actually influence the process, for better or worse.

 

All that being said, I actually hate systems in which you can "fail" at making something, and your materials are just gone. I can see you failing to make a functional enough sword (there ends up being a big crack in it, or it breaks irreparably in the forging process, etc., due to lack of skill, and/or flukes, and/or what-have-you). But, you'd probably just lose a little bit of material, as you could melt the remaining lump of metal back down just as well as you could melt ore, I would think. Re-process the metal, even if you didn't do it yourself (if you just forge the processed metal).

 

Anywho... I don't think it has to do with time. I don't think it needs to take a minute per item crafted just to make it interesting. Again, I'm not after simulating things like "it takes this long to shape metal." Just as combat doesn't take time merely because real combat takes time. Combat takes time, because it takes time to control and play through combat. Some combats are very short, but can still be as intense or engaging as prolonged ones.

 

I think a crafting system would do well to focus on the uniqueness specific to THIS ONE crafting attempt, just as combat does. Did you kill those 5 orcs with only 3 spells? Did someone die? Did everyone lose a little HP? Did you use up arrows? Did someone alert other orcs in the area? How you perform determines the outcome of that particular iteration of combat, even if it's just another victory. And I think a system that lets you make dynamic choices and take action in each specific iteration of crafting (even if it's still a really short duration) to make a SPECIFIC iron sword, instead of some universal recipe of iron sword, would be awesome.

 

That's where crafting can be different from simply buying things at a merchant. That blacksmith he gets his stuff from get orders for like 20 swords a day. So, he just does the exact same thing every day. But you... you're only concerned with this one sword you're making, for the moment. You don't have a day's workload to get through. You're shaping the metal like clay, like a sculptor. Maybe you shape the blade differently, or reheat and hammer the metal differently, or start with a different-shaped mold, etc. Maybe you hammer more softly, but more often. *shrug*. I dunno... all that's abstracted. But, it could still be represented. Maybe you make an iron sword with a better edge that's lighter than the ones sold by that merchant. OR, maybe you make one that's slightly inferior (ever-so-slightly). But, you wouldn't be making it if you wouldn't benefit from an iron sword, right? If you already had that, or better, then why would you spend time and resources trying to make a good iron sword? So, you still get an iron sword that's better than what you had (some copper sword or something... I'm using very vague, cliche examples here, I know). AND it cost you less than that one from the merchant would have. All you had to buy was materials, and you put your own labor in.

 

The only problem I know of with a system like that is the whole "I don't want to make 7,000 iron swords!" thing, which is commonly seen in MMO systems. But, that doesn't have to be the case. Earlier on, with common things, the variance would be a lot slighter. A) because there's only so good of a sword you can make from iron, and B) because you're only going to be so skilled until later on in the game, as you progress over time. So, later, you not only have a greater margin for exceptional forgings, but also a higher skill that supports this. As well as just plain greater capabilities for making fancy-shmancy things that often aren't simply sold left and right in stalls throughout the market square. So, if you choose crafting, you're already spending points on the skill, and you're acquiring the materials, and putting in the time and effort (admittedly little, but it's time and effort, nonetheless). And the more you invest in the skill and materials, the better the chances that what you'll make will be not only better than but also UNIQUE as compared to Generic Iron Sword at the shop. All those bandits are running around with run-of-the-mill iron swords, and your Fighter's got his own custom-made iron sword that's 7% sharper (extra bleed chance, or extra damage against no-armor?), or is better balanced so as to boost his attack/action speed with it, etc. A steel sword (I realize steel and iron are not different materials, so to speak, btw...) would be better, still, but you've got YOUR OWN iron sword, and not the same one everyone else is using.

 

*shrug*. I just think you could have fun dynamics in crafting, without it being super tedious and time-consuming, and get some fun dynamic results out of it. And it would intuitively feel a lot more like CRAFTING, and not "free item acquisition because I put points in a skill." In combat, you don't just go "Damn... a troll. I absolutely cannot kill that troll right now, with 27 Swordsmanship skill. But if I put 5 points in it next level up, and get the Troll Death recipe, and 10 damage worth of sword, I should be able to craft its death at that point with the single click of a button and some behind-the-scenes math." So why shouldn't we take a pointer from combat for crafting?

 

Sorry for the length. Got carried away here. That's just my take on crafting, in general. In how I feel it should be approached, and why. There are ways to do it I haven't even thought of, but I just made some examples of fundamental ways in which I think it can be much better.


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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I'd much rather that your crafting skill determines what and how much you can attempt.

 

For every two points in crafting skill you can pick one from the list: knives, daggers, staves, short swords, long swords, pikes, wands, staffs, hammers, axes, etc etc. light armour, medium armour, heavy armour, shield, etc. Ring, amulet, etc. firearms would be on this list, but might cost more.

Which would unlock crafting for that item.

 

Then for every (arbitrary) 4 points in your crafting skill, for each item, you get to unlock one mod. You could also unlock mods through gameplay.

they could involve:

(some would cost more) bleeding, shock, daze, knockdown, sharpness, penetration, poison, weakness, vampirism, stamina drain, ability drain, +speed on wearer, + defence on wearer, +attribute or skill on wearer etc. etc.

Some of these mods would have several levels.

 

Some of those could be unlocked by paying skillpoints into them, some through gameplay, some may unlock if you have other skills. (like poison unlocking if you have a high medicine score, for instance)

 

The materials you use get to determine how many mods an item can have. With better materials being capable of holding more mods.

lastly, high skill in crafting allows you to use one more mod than allowed in crafting normally.

--

Example time

So, let's say I've got a wizard with a penchant for crafting. He's got 8 skillpoints in crafting.

 

He's selected Staffs, wands, rings, and bracers for 4x2=8 skillpoints. He wants to craft a powerful Staff.

Since he's got 8 skillpoints he has unlocked two mods for staffs: +defence on wearer and penetration. Shock is a standard unlock for staffs, and because he's got skill levels in acrobatics he's also unlocked +2 defence(reflex)

He's picked a rarefied timber for his staff, one capable of holding 3 mods, but his skill level is not high enough to fill them all.

He can either pick 2 mods and succeed, or pick the 3 mods, pass a skillcheck which will roll for success.

 

He chooses to take the risk, knowing he's often a preferred target, he picks +defence on wearer twice, and picks +2 defence reflex to boot.

 

The skillcheck passes and his staff is created, using up the rarefied timber. He names the staff and starts using it.

 

Later during the game, he finds the staff doesn't fit his playstyle, so he tries to craft a new weapon better suited for his pleasures.

 

He's got two options

1. get the materials for a new item

2. modify his old favourite.

 

He picks the second option.

Since he's grown as a character, he's now got 12 skillpoints in crafting, having added pistols to the list. He can now freely change the three mods on his weapon, without risk of failure. During his levelling he's also learned to enchant, giving access to a different set of modifiers on any weapon. But this is done separately from crafting.

 

He keeps the +defence option, because he still feels a bit weakly, but having unlocked poison eagerly adds it in place of one of the defence boosts, and adds penetration in place of the other. His staff now has a 10% chance to cause poison, and ignores 2 points of armour.

 

after fiddling around, he's not satisfied, instead changes up the last defence bonus to add another poison mod, the staff now has 2x10%chance to cause poison, and ignores the first 2 points of armour.

 

After this, with the limit of three mods the rarefied timber gives him, he's yet unhappy about the power of his weapon, and wishes to enchant it.

 

his enchanting skill is fairly decent, but the weapon he wishes to enchant already has 3 mods on it, which increases the cost of enchanting. He's got enough skill for three enchantments, but can only afford to add one based on the heavy cost. He decides to add duration effect increase, which causes any effect the weapon causes to have increased duration. instead of 5 seconds of poison, poison effects now last 7 seconds. If the staff had different duration effects, those would have been affected as well.

--

This is how I imagine crafting could lead to highly personalised items, which could grow with you over time. Limiting the choices for the mods to be unlocked lets the player focus on what would suit his or her playstyle, and allows for some replayability as you can choose differently in different playthroughs.

 

People with high levels in crafting could create very powerful combinations, but would still be limited by the choices they made earlier. No crafter could create all weapons, with all mods, all at maximum levels. Yet all crafters would early on be able to build something which suited them personally. Any crafter making an early mistake can overcome it fairly quickly by levelling up their skill.

 

And I imagine it would be rewarding to have unlocked so many mods for a weapon throughout the game, not just from levelling your crafting skill, but also from levelling other skills and completing content with unlocks as reward.

 

anyway, that's what happens when I go off on a tangent.

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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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anyway, that's what happens when I go off on a tangent.

 

Tangents, FTW!!! Haha.

 

I like that system. Not "as opposed to all other systems." Just... it's just plain a good, solid idea.

 

For the record (in case I made it seem otherwise -- which is how it seems with your "I'd much rather that your crafting skill determines..."), I'm completely in favor of a crafting skill governing things. I just don't want the value of the skill to be the only factor is all. I don't think making it a simple put-points-in-it-at-level-up skill, then granting you static, simplistic recipes at every numerical level of that skill and calling it a day produces anything but a bland system.

 

I really like your way. Maybe you always have to put points into a specific aspect of crafting (like you said, Staffs, Swords, Helmets, Shields, etc.), but your aggregate point total is still your overall "crafting skill." So, 3 in Staffs(staves), 4 in Helmets, and 2 in Daggers would give you 9 total Crafting skill. Basically, the specifics would depend on a LOT of things, but the idea is that if you have 30 total Crafting skill and only 5 in Staves, and you try to make a Stave, you're going to have better chances of good things happening than if you have 20 total Crafting skill and only 5 in Staves. The 5 specifically in Staves will allow options (such as mods in your example) that no amount of overall Crafting skill will provide. But a really low total Crafting skill will lower your general performance at crafting (the materials required, success chance, exceptional success/bonus chance, etc. -- things that apply to all things you make, and draw from your general experience and practice crafting items in general). In other words, if you make a hundred swords (for example), then try to make some armor, you shouldn't be a COMPLETE noob at the armor, because you should already be quite familiar with the forge, at the very least.

 

There might even be categories of things (weapons, armor, accessories... or maybe categories by material -- metal, wood, leather/cloth, consumables, gemstones, etc.) that receive synergy bonuses. So that points in Swords apply to metal armor crafting a bit, but do not apply to brewing potions or cooking food (for example... if you were to have all such types of crafting in, and tied to a skill).

 

I realize P:E has decided (thus far) to forego a Crafting skill, but I still find it valuable to discuss the possibilities. A lot can be taken from it, even to enhance a skill-value-less system.

 

 

I ... I don't even know where to begin with responding to that ...

No worries. That whole bit was basically a small response directly to you, followed by just a giant tangent/ramble. I didn't mean for the whole thing to be some big coherent point intending to challenge others or anything. It was admittedly pretty stream-of-consciousness, heh. I wouldn't even fault anyone for not-reading it.

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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yes, though I wouldn't differentiate skill levels between weapons, I'd just let you select more weapons (or armour) to be as good as crafting as anything else you could craft.


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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You mean, almost like proficiency? As in, "you haven't yet picked Swords, so you can't craft Swords. But, once you pick Swords, you'll be [Crafting_Skill_Value] good at crafting Swords, just like you are at everything else you're able to craft."?


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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yes


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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*Ponder*. The only problem I have with that is... why would you be able to (for example) craft a dagger, but be literally incapable of crafting a sword? Or, if you could expertly craft a wooden staff, why wouldn't you be capable of at least ATTEMPTING to craft a wooden bow, or a wooden shield? I mean, with combat, if you lack Longsword proficiency, you can still USE one with some amount of success. You just kind of suck with it, compared to anyone even remotely skilled with it. And, similarly, if you were a spear master, you wouldn't stare dumbfounded at a sword or axe and think "I quite literally do not comprehend how to utilize this object to any extent in the act of fighting someone."

 

Maybe a good compromise is to put proficiency-style points into item types instead of individual items? Or, maybe such restrictions are only a bother to me, and aren't really a big deal at all. *shrug*


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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you have to use abstraction somewhere. You'll just have to accept that you can make daggers but not bows because you choose daggers but not bows. You can select bows on level up, or, if you have a ranged character, maybe you should have chosen bows in the first place.


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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(stuff)

 

The only problem I see with your system is that you're putting certain things on items (e.g. +Reflex or +Defense) that shouldn't be there as part of the inherent crafting -- you're stepping on the toes of enchanting.  No biggie, just jumped out at me.

 

Raw crafting I would see only covering they physical properties of an item that a "dumb brute" (aka fighter) would be able to do, given sufficient training:

  • Keen Edge (+ damage) (hardened face for blunt things)
  • Lighter, but just as strong (+ to hit, aka "Masterwork")
  • Perfectly Balanced (1 or 2 reduction to offhand penalty when used as offhand weapon)
  • Other random things like "chained" (so you can strap to your gauntlet for +5 to your disarm DC)

Same types of things for armor.

 

 

For the "you can't craft [item] til you put points in [item_Type] Crafting", some of it makes sense (bowyers have a totally different skillset than shield-makers), but certain things would overlap greatly (such as dagger -> longsword).

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so you're are looking for something more dynamic than a glorified shopping list?  well in order to get dynamic stuff on a weapon you need to isolate the different effects so they can be applied individually.  then you come up with a method of applying them to the weapon, one way that is often used is to use slots and components, this way you have control over what goes in what and how much in order to keep some balance.  being able to deconstruct weapons to grab the components should also be feasible, though not all games that use slots have this ability, either stuff you find lacks special components, or you simple cannot deconstruct stuff, though it has been done before.  now we get into the issue of spending points on a non combat skill, which then has to balanced against combat skills, when it doesn't help you in other utility tasks, though some games do link the crafting skill to utilitarian skills that are non crafting specific.  the final issue is balancing what you find in the game with what you make, if what you make is inferior to what you find then there won't be a point to crafting things as you will always end up using what you find, but if you can make the best stuff in the game then ultimately the world is devoid of skillful smiths and enchanters that have spent their entire lives dedicated to the craft and science of making things.

 

now with age of decadence, in the demo you can make better stuff than you find, mainly because you find small items with good ore, then reconstruct them into a larger more useful item.  the main game will have these items, and artifacts that you can't make, so maybe there won't be any real use for crafting, after all why spend points that could be used for combat when you don't actually gain anything?  possibly there will be a blind spot in the artifacts and items that you can use your craft on, but that pretty much means that whatever skill is tied to that blind spot is also tied to crafting, and they come as a package deal (restricting the player, which is probably not what you want).

 

KotOR on the other hand had a system that allowed for as much diversity, did so while not breaking lore by having you craft super stuff out of basic materials that everyone else had access to, and tied the crafting to skills used in other areas of the game.  frankly the system itself is far better than anything that has been shown since or even suggested in this forum, all you need to do is tweak it a tad to fit the game.  as far as a research system why not just use a variation of RtK's, where you attempt to make something, should you fail you keep the components but lose the time you spent attempting the task.

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Personally, I'd rather see that the "crafting skill tree" is completely outside of the "OK you leveled up" progression, but with ties back to it -- for example, "smithing" being STR and DEX (weapons, armor, etc).  

 

KOTOR (II) had a decent system, but it was built from the ground up without the concept of magic being able to be applied to a weapon in the same sense that a "typical" RPG would take.  There was no way to add "+10 electric damage" to a lightsaber from a crystal, and then also add "+10 electric damage" from another source (well, maybe a second crystal, can't remember if you could do that, or if it was "one of Type A and one of Type B")

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You could combine crystals. I had a lightsaber combo focussed on maximum deflection because of this. I could literally walk into a room with blasters and wait for everyone to die.


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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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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you have to use abstraction somewhere. You'll just have to accept that you can make daggers but not bows because you choose daggers but not bows. You can select bows on level up, or, if you have a ranged character, maybe you should have chosen bows in the first place.

 

I realize this, but, accepting abstraction doesn't mean that it MUST be a specific abstraction, namely that you can make a small blade, but not a larger blade. It's not the end of the world if that's abstracted, but I do have an interest in trying to make a system in which that particular abstraction is not present.

 

Also, I realize it probably wasn't your specific intention, but I'm actually fine with someone knowing how to make daggers, but not bows. Shaping metal into a dagger blade and crafting a quality bow are significantly different processes. As I said, I understand if the specific intent of your example wasn't to suggest the similarity between daggers and bows, specifically, but rather between two similar yet categorically different (in video games) things (like short swords and daggers).


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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so you're are looking for something more dynamic than a glorified shopping list?  well in order to get dynamic stuff on a weapon you need to isolate the different effects so they can be applied individually.  then you come up with a method of applying them to the weapon, one way that is often used is to use slots and components, this way you have control over what goes in what and how much in order to keep some balance.  being able to deconstruct weapons to grab the components should also be feasible, though not all games that use slots have this ability, either stuff you find lacks special components, or you simple cannot deconstruct stuff, though it has been done before.  now we get into the issue of spending points on a non combat skill, which then has to balanced against combat skills, when it doesn't help you in other utility tasks, though some games do link the crafting skill to utilitarian skills that are non crafting specific.  the final issue is balancing what you find in the game with what you make, if what you make is inferior to what you find then there won't be a point to crafting things as you will always end up using what you find, but if you can make the best stuff in the game then ultimately the world is devoid of skillful smiths and enchanters that have spent their entire lives dedicated to the craft and science of making things.

 

The problem with slots is, while it deepens the crafting system, it doesn't prevent it from still being a glorified shopping list. Now you're shopping for things AND properties, instead of just things. In other words, you've just broken down all the items on the list into sub-items.

 

The dynamics I'm after have to do with the actual crafting process. I want to have materials, and have a goal, and dynamically produce results, at the very least. Just like anything else in the game. Dialogue: You want someone to give you an item? You persuade them, and/or threaten them, and/or kill them and take it, and/or trick them, etc. You want to get the item, but you have to deal with unknown factors and actively work toward achieving that goal. In a good dialogue system, at least. That's why everyone complains when a game has some Speech skill that just gives you "jedi mind-trick them into giving you the object" as an option.

 

Also, something else you got me thinking of... there's always going to be that "how do we balance the non-crafting experience with the crafting one?" You've got to be able to find useful things that take advantage of the full range of equipment properties, but then you've got to be able to craft interesting things as well. So, A) Make the advantages of crafted goods lie mostly in the uniqueness and specific properties and property combinations of the items, rather than the complete difference in quality/available properties (the keyword being "mostly"), and B) allow the system to use a salvaging mechanic, so that the otherwise redundant found items can actually be used for their materials to make specific crafted items.

 

Heck, maybe even tie the two together. Maybe (as we've touched on before), have a skill aspect (pure technical crafting process/prowess), and a knowledge aspect. Maybe you are skilled enough at the forge to be CAPABLE of working with some special meteorite metal, but you can't do so until you actually observe and study something worked from that metal. So, you find a meteorite sword, and now you can study meteorite to make more and more various properties for meteorite-crafted items at-will. So, instead of hoping you find the 7 meteorite weapons in the entire game world, with their 7 spiffy combos of properties, and hoping those combos are to your liking, you can actually make your own once you find that first weapon.

 

Of course, that's also where a research-y system could come into play. Not really sure where to start with that, exactly...

 

Anywho, the strength of being able to craft items in a world in which you also find them is clearly in the specific control you have over the finished product's exact properties. If you just make the exact same stuff you can find, then it's a weak system (you're just doing something un-fun to produce a sword without paying a merchant for that sword, and/or waiting 'til you find it). If you make drastically different stuff, then no one's going to NOT-craft, because it's obviously superior to simply finding and buying stuff. So, you make it about control. You want a nice sword, with specific properties, so you craft it.

 

And yes, does a socket-some-gems-or-what-have-you system accomplish this? It does. So then, why even have a "crafting" system for making items, when you can just find/buy them all and socket in what you want? That could work, too. My concern is more once you've decided the game's definitely going to have a legit crafting system in, making it not a glorified shopping list, plus a socketing system. If you're going to do crafting, I say actually do crafting and make it worth it, or just don't worry with a "crafting" system at all. Just say "You can customize your weapons and armor with magical gemstones. YAY!"


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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You could combine crystals. I had a lightsaber combo focussed on maximum deflection because of this. I could literally walk into a room with blasters and wait for everyone to die.

 

OK, but you were still limited to two (2) bonuses to the lightsaber (and no temporary/semi-permanent "magic" buffs), whereas with a D&D-style RPG, you can potentially have a lot more, if you're not careful with limits:

 

  • masterwork (+ATK roll)
  • Keen (+Damage roll)
  • Chained (+disarm DC)
  • Balanced (-offhand penalty)
  • Enchanted to throw electric damage
  • Enchanted to (something)
  • Wizard/cleric buffs
  • anything else I'm forgetting

 

Edited by neo6874

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(stuff)

 

I like where you're going with the "one offs" ... or at least making things that are otherwise prohibitively expensive/rare.  I've been playing through IWD and it's like 4-500 GP for five +1 arrows (normal stacks are 20 arrows for 1 GP).  So, I'm pretty much staying gimped with my ranger and other "archer" characters because even in chapter 5 you're not exactly at a point where "Oh, that 4k GP I just spent on arrows was pocket change".  Admittedly, I've probably screwed up somewhere and they shouldn't be this expensive.

 

 

I would love to see a real depth to the system, and wouldn't be opposed to it being tied to "levels" -- but they should be outside the realm of the skill-point system --> it only ever made sense in NWN2 to play a wizard if you wanted to be a crafter because you could waste several points in whichever crafting school (Armorsmith/Weaponsmith/whatver) and still have loads of SP left over because base SP/level, plus an INT of 18+ (sure, you could cheat by wearing a headband of intellect for leveling up, but that became tedious).

 

I would really love to see it become something that has diminishing returns as well (BUT ONLY IN A MULTIPLAYER / PW SETTING) -- for example, let's say there are ten (10) levels in any one crafting school ... um ... let's use sword-making as an example:

 

L1 -> you start here (might have to pay a trainer), and can make basic things (e.g. bronze short sword)

L2 -> nothing major, maybe unlocks Iron?

L3 -> Steel (basic) and +1 for Iron/Bronze

L4 -> ???

L5 -> +2 ATK

L9 -> +5 Iron/Bronze; +4 Steel

L10 -> meteorite iron (+0)

 

This is really rough (and terrible), but really the "best place" to get to is probably L9.  L10 is pretty much 100% useless for the "common sword-smith" because of the rarity of meteorite iron, and you're making a terrible* sword with it.

 

 

*"Terrible" in the sense that it's +0 to ATK ... but say that meteorite iron has other properties that allow it 100% more "enchant slots" (so IDK, 6 instead of 3?)

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I would love to see a real depth to the system, and wouldn't be opposed to it being tied to "levels" -- but they should be outside the realm of the skill-point system --> it only ever made sense in NWN2 to play a wizard if you wanted to be a crafter because you could waste several points in whichever crafting school (Armorsmith/Weaponsmith/whatver) and still have loads of SP left over because base SP/level, plus an INT of 18+ (sure, you could cheat by wearing a headband of intellect for leveling up, but that became tedious).

 

I would really love to see it become something that has diminishing returns as well (BUT ONLY IN A MULTIPLAYER / PW SETTING) -- for example, let's say there are ten (10) levels in any one crafting school ... um ... let's use sword-making as an example:

 

L1 -> you start here (might have to pay a trainer), and can make basic things (e.g. bronze short sword)

L2 -> nothing major, maybe unlocks Iron?

L3 -> Steel (basic) and +1 for Iron/Bronze

L4 -> ???

L5 -> +2 ATK

L9 -> +5 Iron/Bronze; +4 Steel

L10 -> meteorite iron (+0)

 

This is really rough (and terrible), but really the "best place" to get to is probably L9.  L10 is pretty much 100% useless for the "common sword-smith" because of the rarity of meteorite iron, and you're making a terrible* sword with it.

 

 

*"Terrible" in the sense that it's +0 to ATK ... but say that meteorite iron has other properties that allow it 100% more "enchant slots" (so IDK, 6 instead of 3?)

 

 

I agree, on the skill-point thing (about level 10 being mostly useless for meteorite, etc.). I think, in a crafting system, some additional expenditure into crafting skill (be it some accumulation of research/effort/experience, or actual spent-points gained from level-ups) should actually provide some manner of benefit across the board, and not JUST serve as an unlock for a higher tier.

 

Just like with combat skills. Putting 10 more points in Swordsmanship might allow you access to a more elite Sword technique, but it should also just-plain make you better with swords.  A littler faster, or more accurate, etc. Maybe your previous abilities gain some extra effect? Anything representing the exact extent of your character's abilities in an entire range of a given ability should impact all the things you do with that ability accordingly. As long as that's what the scale's representing, I mean. Or, rather, if the same points would represent skill extent if spent in one skill's scale, and mere tier-access if spent in another, there's a problem.

 

I guess basically what I'm getting at is that investing more time/effort/resources into Crafting should allow you to produce better swords, and not just give you access to the production of swords that are better.

 

Heck, In Fallout, couldn't someone with like 10% Energy Weapons skill use all Energy Weapons? Sure, you sucked with them, but you could use them. You didn't just boost it up to 80%, then suddenly gain the ability to attempt to fire a Plasma Rifle.

 

So, while I could see Meteorite possibly being more difficult to work than Iron (maybe it's just got more complex Physics going on with it in the forging process? *Shrug*), I don't see why you'd just get better and better and better and better at making swords out of various metals, then, suddenly, because of how good you are, gain the ability to work meteorite. I'd rather see those extra 10 points spent in Crafting (just using a "spend points in crafting instead of swordplay" system as an example) lead to the EXTENT to which you can use meteorite, rather than just tripping a binary switch. For example, someone who only makes it to 50 crafting might be able to make plenty of stuff out of meteorite, but there's only so much meteorite to be found in the world. (For example's sake, you only find one crashed-to-"Earth" meteorite in the entire game.) So, someone with 50 crafting might be able to make 1 or 2 pretty decent things out of it. While, someone with 100 crafting might be able to make 3 entire suits of armor out of it, and a few weapons. The person who's more skilled at crafting knows how to more efficiently use the materials he's got (make armor thinner and lighter, but still just as strong... how to not waste materials in the forging process, etc.), while the lesser-skilled person can make functional stuff, but not as well.

 

That, again, is what I think should be at the heart of a crafting system. Even one without durability and the like. Or without points being spent on Crafting as part of the skill pool. *shrug*. However it's handled, I think Crafting needs to be about what makes your level of skill/effort different from simply purchasing the "same" item and/or finding the "same" item. Your hand-making something should be more than just an alternative method of procurement. And an entire crafting "system" needs to provide more than just a giant list of things to alternatively procure. Something about the process should be different. Just like fighting a really tough fight to pry the awesome sword from that Orc King's cold, dead fingers is different from undergoing that elaborate quest chain to talk your way past people and get information out of them to ultimately uncover some secret resting place for some ancient blade. It's a far greater difference than simply having appropriate skill numbers and clicking "Kill Orc King" instead of clicking "Uncover Resting Place of Blade."


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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so you're are looking for something more dynamic than a glorified shopping list?  well in order to get dynamic stuff on a weapon you need to isolate the different effects so they can be applied individually.  then you come up with a method of applying them to the weapon, one way that is often used is to use slots and components, this way you have control over what goes in what and how much in order to keep some balance.  being able to deconstruct weapons to grab the components should also be feasible, though not all games that use slots have this ability, either stuff you find lacks special components, or you simple cannot deconstruct stuff, though it has been done before.  now we get into the issue of spending points on a non combat skill, which then has to balanced against combat skills, when it doesn't help you in other utility tasks, though some games do link the crafting skill to utilitarian skills that are non crafting specific.  the final issue is balancing what you find in the game with what you make, if what you make is inferior to what you find then there won't be a point to crafting things as you will always end up using what you find, but if you can make the best stuff in the game then ultimately the world is devoid of skillful smiths and enchanters that have spent their entire lives dedicated to the craft and science of making things.

 

The problem with slots is, while it deepens the crafting system, it doesn't prevent it from still being a glorified shopping list. Now you're shopping for things AND properties, instead of just things. In other words, you've just broken down all the items on the list into sub-items.

 

The dynamics I'm after have to do with the actual crafting process. I want to have materials, and have a goal, and dynamically produce results, at the very least. Just like anything else in the game. Dialogue: You want someone to give you an item? You persuade them, and/or threaten them, and/or kill them and take it, and/or trick them, etc. You want to get the item, but you have to deal with unknown factors and actively work toward achieving that goal. In a good dialogue system, at least. That's why everyone complains when a game has some Speech skill that just gives you "jedi mind-trick them into giving you the object" as an option.

 

Also, something else you got me thinking of... there's always going to be that "how do we balance the non-crafting experience with the crafting one?" You've got to be able to find useful things that take advantage of the full range of equipment properties, but then you've got to be able to craft interesting things as well. So, A) Make the advantages of crafted goods lie mostly in the uniqueness and specific properties and property combinations of the items, rather than the complete difference in quality/available properties (the keyword being "mostly"), and B) allow the system to use a salvaging mechanic, so that the otherwise redundant found items can actually be used for their materials to make specific crafted items.

 

Heck, maybe even tie the two together. Maybe (as we've touched on before), have a skill aspect (pure technical crafting process/prowess), and a knowledge aspect. Maybe you are skilled enough at the forge to be CAPABLE of working with some special meteorite metal, but you can't do so until you actually observe and study something worked from that metal. So, you find a meteorite sword, and now you can study meteorite to make more and more various properties for meteorite-crafted items at-will. So, instead of hoping you find the 7 meteorite weapons in the entire game world, with their 7 spiffy combos of properties, and hoping those combos are to your liking, you can actually make your own once you find that first weapon.

 

Of course, that's also where a research-y system could come into play. Not really sure where to start with that, exactly...

 

Anywho, the strength of being able to craft items in a world in which you also find them is clearly in the specific control you have over the finished product's exact properties. If you just make the exact same stuff you can find, then it's a weak system (you're just doing something un-fun to produce a sword without paying a merchant for that sword, and/or waiting 'til you find it). If you make drastically different stuff, then no one's going to NOT-craft, because it's obviously superior to simply finding and buying stuff. So, you make it about control. You want a nice sword, with specific properties, so you craft it.

 

And yes, does a socket-some-gems-or-what-have-you system accomplish this? It does. So then, why even have a "crafting" system for making items, when you can just find/buy them all and socket in what you want? That could work, too. My concern is more once you've decided the game's definitely going to have a legit crafting system in, making it not a glorified shopping list, plus a socketing system. If you're going to do crafting, I say actually do crafting and make it worth it, or just don't worry with a "crafting" system at all. Just say "You can customize your weapons and armor with magical gemstones. YAY!"

 

i am pretty sure i have lost what you are asking for, nothing you have described is either more dynamic than what i have stated (and thus less like a shopping list), or even possible to do with our current level of technology.

 

since an item has a material (a slot, or multiple slots), a type (slot), magical properties (multiple slots), or an item is unique and thus making it always makes the same thing, all from a list.

 

as for how you get the things to fit in slots, maybe you make them, or maybe you find them, making everything means that you can't balance it against other items unless there is a cost per item, which has nothing to do with slots in it of itself.

 

as far as research goes, don't you work towards a goal?  and would attempting to make an item and failing a few times be like that?  as far as the dialog comparison, once you fail a dialog choice you can't retry again most times, isn't that the same as losing all of the material in an attempt?  aren't you against that?

 

not being a smart ass or sarcastic, but you seem to be contradicting yourself, or asking for above average human level intelligence in the crafting system, which i know you aren't asking for, and just saying 'i don't get what you are saying' is not going to help you explain things better.

 

 

 

You could combine crystals. I had a lightsaber combo focussed on maximum deflection because of this. I could literally walk into a room with blasters and wait for everyone to die.

 

OK, but you were still limited to two (2) bonuses to the lightsaber (and no temporary/semi-permanent "magic" buffs), whereas with a D&D-style RPG, you can potentially have a lot more, if you're not careful with limits:

 

  • masterwork (+ATK roll)
  • Keen (+Damage roll)
  • Chained (+disarm DC)
  • Balanced (-offhand penalty)
  • Enchanted to throw electric damage
  • Enchanted to (something)
  • Wizard/cleric buffs
  • anything else I'm forgetting

 

 

actually once you enchant a weapon with a +1 enchantment you could then apply effects up to a total of +4 equivalent enchantment (until epic levels), so you had 4 slots and some things took up multiple slots, of course the base item could be made of different materials or be a different type of weapon, that is is like combining 5 items to make one.  as for temporary buffs, you could apply what ever temporary buffs you wanted, just like DnD (same basic system, just a lack of weapon temporary buffs, though weapon buffs that buff you still allowed you to temp buff yourself as well, so temp buffs stacked with permanent ones).  the big issue with it is the lack of content, 3 kinds of lightsabers, and 2 types of guns.

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It's been ages since I've played KOTOR (II) ... so yeah, I'm definitely glossing over things with the crafting system contained therein (or outright getting it wrong).  My point was that there is/was a different balance point in KOTOR than in most DnD-esque settings - such that you simply couldn't craft an exceptional balanced +4 lightsaber of evil smiting (+4 / +8 against evil; -4 penalty for use in offhand) and then take it to your friendly neighborhood Elminster and get +6d6 acid and +4d4 fire damage enchantments added.

 

As far as "limits" -- you're right with "typical" D&D rules (max is +4 equivalent) but a cRPG isn't necessarily tied to those rules.  In the crafting system I made, I think we decided on "4 enchantments overall" without regard to what it made the weapon's modifier overall, because the PW was "small" (max population was like 2 full parties worth of people on) ... most of whom were the builders anyway.  (IIRC, it was a define-able option, just disabled for our server).

 

 

@Lephys -- yeah, like I said, my example was just quick and bad.  I agree that needing to be a L10 weaponsmith "just" to make meteorite iron swords is a bit over the top, but was just the first "useless" thing I could come up with that "not everyone" would train for.

 

Taking a different route, you could say that each level decreases the difficulty by so much (say 5% at L2+) ... So Meteorite Iron is DC 20 base (before skills, STR, whatever).

 

Character has +3 STR (16?), L1 weaponsmithing.  

 

d20 + 3 (STR) + 0 (level) >= 20 ... so your roll has to be 17 or greater (15% success chance).

 

L10 weaponsmithing

 

d20 +3 (STR) +9 (level) >= 20 ... so your roll has to be 8 or greater (60% success chance)

 

 

or maybe the DC is 25... you can try at L1 crafting, but you only have a 5% chance (assuming a 20 is automatic success, since you only have +3 from your STR bonus)

Edited by neo6874

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