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Crafting Breaks the game (?)

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#21 Alex Cube

Alex Cube


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Posted 21 March 2014 - 03:01 AM

My 2 cents: your player can't cannibalise power axe to build thunderhammer, if he disagrees with that then ask him to craft Lamborghini from ford focus in real life, then he'll probably understand

About blueprints: I don't actually see that as necessary if you know how a piece of technology works, nevertheless I'd recommend you to ask him to pass tech-use test on a thunderhammer with penalty equal to penalty for crafting it resembling him disassembling the weapon to learn how it works with the next result - 3DoS is a straight success and goes not give any penalty on tests to craft thunderhammer plus any DoS extra will lower the difficulty of tests to craft but lower than 3DoS on this tech use test will result in -10 penalty for full ten that is under 3DoS, while failure will result in -20 penalty as DoF will, 3DoF mean that you not only fail in understanding how it works but also destroy the item in the process (possibly even in a spectacular manner like explosions and stuff) , then roll again to see how much components did he break while doing that. These house rules may be hard to understand (like why not just give extra -30 penalty on techuse test and do all the counting on DoS/F) but they are made especially to blance the game (simple items are easy to craft, genius in trade armourer and smith still struggling to craft power Armour In the field)

The next thing is that without a proper facility it is hard (sometimes even impossible) to craft some advanced tech, secondly you need components to build anything, thou mind you - crafting should be profitable to characters who are good at it at the cost of time (that's why most pc's only craft in downtime - you can't craft something, then leave it for a year and then continue - as it will simply rust and stuff, but shorter pauses and they possibility depends more on the task in question and, of course, you as a gm)

So all in all "never say never", and if your pc's are ready to march through hell and back while doing the task in question then let them go for it

#22 WilliamAsher



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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:17 AM

First, you need to talk to the group and figure out what they want out of this game.  If one player’s power gaming is causing a problem and doesn’t match the group you should address that player.  If it is a group consensus that they want a ‘higher’ level of play you should work with them.  One player not having fun is a problem, the GM wanting to quit is a tragedy.


Ok, I have had crafting in my RT game since its inception.  The Rogue Trader has a 63 Int, Unnatural Intelligencex2, Trade(Armorer)+10, Talented  (Armorer), and a Best Quality Labratorium that gives an additional +20 to crafting single items.  The Explorator/Magos is better.  Does they make crazy stuff, yep.  Does it break my game?  No.  But, RT is a much higher power game and he has access to things your player's character doesn’t even know exist. I don't have my book to quote from, but I will try and do my best.  It sounds like you have a few problems, so first some questions:


Days to customize armor...Customizing armor isn't crafting it.  It is modifying it with padding, fitting the webbing, and generally repairing problems with it.  I believe that you can only upgrade any item one category.  Crafting Power Armor takes months or more.  He isn't better than the Magos in charge of such things, no matter what he thinks.  I would have used weeks as a basis for crafting Carapace Armor and he would have needed a forge and specialized equipment to do so.  If he isn’t fixing or modifying an existing piece of equipment, he is making it from scratch...PERIOD.  He isn’t ‘just making a hammer’, he is creating a weapon that wields arcane forces to disintegrate matter as he hits it without an external power supply or eating itself.  If he disputes crafting time, compare it to similar items in fluff if you can.


Components...Does he have the pieces salvaged from a destroyed Thunder Hammer, or all the proper components provided by a Forge World?  If not, he isn’t using Best (or even Good) components.  The power field generator from a power sword is not the right one, and will not work for the hammer without serious rebuilding that will take as long as making a new one.  Unless he has access to the right components to make something he shouldn't be better than common quality components, and may actually be using poor components.  Good or Best means the right parts to build the device, made to a high standard of quality. 


Facilities...Does he have a personal lab?  If not, then he is borrowing one (probably common quality) or using an improvised one (Poor).  A good lab is either a personal lab with all the right tools to do this particular job, or an excellent one he is borrowing.  A Best lab is a personal lab with exceptional equipment and shouldn't exist except on a Forge World or as a Magos personal lab.  Best quality labs are a reason to commit murder on Forge Worlds.


Does he know how to make it?  I use the rule that Tech-use lets you make Scarce and below.  Trade skills allow Rare and below.  For everything higher you need a STC or Manufacturing Schematic.  They are usually 30 to 500 times more expensive (IE, a Very Rare item requires an acquisition check at -30 for my RT characters).  My players buy the things constantly, and at Rank 7 (Rogue Trader) have amassed sufficient to make some Forge Worlds take note.  The Mechanicum guards rare STCs religiously, because they are holy relics.  You need to prove you are worthy of it, as well as make them willing to give you a copy of something so precious.  For a lowly Tech Priest to ask for such a hallowed STC, he is going to have to make some senior Tech Priest or Magos very happy...


Complexity... It is a specialized power weapon, which is normally only used by elite members of the Inquisition/Astartes.  Base difficulty of -30.  A 60 stat (with common parts and lab) has only a 30% chance of succeeding the check.  He is going to be very lucky to get even a common quality weapon.


Do you make him make every roll in front of you?  There are a lot of rolls in the crafting system.  They can easily derail even the most skilled of crafters.  Are you subtracting failures?  I believe there is a penalty for too many degrees of failure as well (I know we use one, but don’t have a book in front of me).  Remember that he has only so many time segments to finish the device and get at least one degree of success to make it at common quality.  He needs 15 cumulative degrees of success to make it at best.  If you aren’t making him roll and tracking how many attempts he has made or degrees of success he has, then you are letting him cheat.  You have to hold the player accountable for following ALL the rules for crafting or the system will break.  From your statements it is obvious that you are giving him too many bonuses.  That will break the system.  If it is too much hassle, then you need to talk to your group about it.  If you decide to remove it from the game, remember to reimburse the player for xp spent on a skill you made obsolete.


These are the purely mechanical issues.  The roleplaying ones are going to be more crippling.  Does he have enough time before he has to do something to craft the weapon?  Can he get the rare components to make it?  They aren’t available most places, and converting similar parts means he is using lower quality components.  Others have touched on the problems of owning it, so I won’t. Remember that crafting in 40k isn’t like manufacturing today.  It is as much a religious endeavor as a technical one and he probably doesn’t actually understand why he does half the step (or more).  He isn’t Girl Genius or a Star Trek Engineer, he is a priest performing a religious devotion to the Machine God.  If he is a Heretek, then he is still working from limited information and without the guidance of holy ritual to warn him against using gold for ornamentation on the access hatch to avoid magnetic resonance interference that can cause fatal feedback...  


Sorry for the long post.  I like the crafting system, but I had to really understand it before I allowed it and enforce it closely.  My players have had no problems with how I run it, even though it limits them somewhat.  They agree that it keeps it closer to the feel of Warhammer 40k by making it complicated and difficult.  That makes those custom items they have even more valuable.  Unfortunately, it is a bit of work for the GM and requires that the players accept your rulings.  If they don’t or you can’t spare the time then you should just drop it.  Or use Black Crusade rules, but the cost of such items is about 1/5th of the final product. 

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