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Kelst Lasel

Crafting system

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Wondering if anyone has come up with a home brew crafting system, and if so could you post it?

 

I am looking for stuff similar to TOR or SWG, Biochem, Artifice, arms/armortech, not sure about generic cybertech, but something like droid engineering wouldn't be bad.

 

Just wondering if anyone has come up for rules for creating stuff that is already in the book, or for creating fresh items.

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EotE isn't a video game. A crafting system in a roleplaying game can, and should be far more involved a process than a simple point and click interface.

 

There are already skills that could be used to craft things: Computers, Mechanics, Medicine, Surveillance. It could be said that each of these skills could be used to make something, and combine these skills to make more complicated things. Also you each of the combat skills: Brawl, Gunnery, Melee, and Ranged (light & heavy), could be used to craft weapons of those types.

 

Video games are limited as to what items can be found, and how those things are found. Example: In ToR you just send your companion off to gather resources. How would that mechanically work in a narrative system? Do you have a limit of crafting skills? Do you have companions? If you're in the middle of a hyperspace journey should you be able to send your companions off to forage for goods? If so how do they leave the ship, or get back?

 

Crafting systems work well in video games because there is limited interaction. However when the only limit of a roleplaying game is imagination, then why would you construct a severely limited crafting system that has the potential of destroying suspension of belief? In roleplaying games when my players want to craft something I role play through it, instead of relying on some super rigid, narrative destroying, formula based, crafting system construct.

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I would just have them spend money on the parts then use the appropriate skill and amount of time to create the item. Maybe give them a discount on the overall price to reflect they are doing the work. Most prices of items are supposed to reflect the cost of the work the person making it did. You could also give them some extra bonus if they did well on the check for making it.

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You went really overboard with my reference to a couple video games. When I said stuff in Tor and SWG, I meant the skills themselves, not what they are limited to. I am quite aware this is not a video game, and I have been running table tops for 25 years at this point, and I have done several that had homegrown crafting systems in them, and they are always successful.

 

I was just curious as to if anyone had already thought about this and done it, or if anyone else would like to start a conversation pertaining to it.

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And yes, I realize skills exist to represent crafting skills, or could be combined with things to represent crafting skills.

 

But that still doesn't answer the question of how exactly it works, how much it costs, how do you limit the players? Do you use resources? Time? Credits?

 

Warhammer for example has a simple but clearly defined system, and its main limit is absolutely time. It is virtually impossible to craft and adventure at the same time.

 

There is also the matter of components and exactly how detailed you would or wouldn't get. Do you say "Gun parts?" Or do you actually get down to the nitty gritty of it. Does crafting guns out of different metals do differnt things?

 

As in any crafting system, there are a ton of questions to be asked, I  just want to know how other people have answered them.

 

For example. There are droids in the game. As NPCs and PCs. If a PC wanted to play a droid engineer and build some droids (which was done in the movies, as well as SWG) how would they go about doing that? How much would it cost? How much time would it take? What parts would you require to make a droid? Or upgrade an existing one?

 

Droids are listed under the NPC lists, but unless me and my entire gaming crew missed it I can't find prices for droids anywhere.

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This is a narrative system, crafting would be the same.

As Bronski has already said, charge them money for the parts ( I would just call them parts, unless you really want to make up names for the thousands of components needed to build a droid) make the cost of the parts most of the cost of buying the item or a similar item. They are going to need the right tools and workspace too.

Then pick what seems to be an appropriate time to take to build. For this you would have to just go with gut feeling. Unless they were jury rigging a simple item it is going to be longer than time they spare in an adventure. In other words, crafting is going to be done in downtime (something to do during hyperspace jumps).

Last of all skill checks. I insist my players are skilled (have ranks) in the needed skills. It might need more than one skill, a droid for example would need mechanics to build and computer to program it.

A successful skill check would produce an item that did it's job. I haven't used crafting on this system yet, but you could go with spending advantages to make the item better than standard.

E.G. You got lots of advantages so the blaster pistol you built is very accurate you get a blue dice when you fire it.

For prices of items not in the EotE book (like droids) I would either make it up or look at my Star Wars books from the previous games (if you have them).

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For crafting I'd let players, until whatever comes in the future, use mechanics for devices (including weapons), computers for software, security and stuff like that and medicine for drugs, poisons and medicine, duh.

 

Now, additionally you could add in a knowledge skill, for now it seems only Education and Lore would fit the bill, the former for most stuff and the latter for obscure, ancient stuff. Xenology could arguably also work in relation to crafting alien and foreign stuff, like for instance trying to meddle with Vong biotech or something like that.

 

Time would depend on how complex I think whatever is to be crafted is, what tools are on hand and facilities.

 

While I'm a fan of making guidelines, I also think this should be slightly more narrative and story centred than the d20 3rd ed crafting system we're all used to, I mean for this game I feel that crafting should be more important, have a larger impact and not necessarily just be to make stuff you could otherwise buy, if that makes sense. Less focus on the numbers, more on the process and impact.

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Ugh, good lord - I hated crafting in Old Republic! It was relentlessly tedious and overly complicated and I hated having to do it when I should be out whupping ass on Sith! So anyone suggested bringing it into a pen and paper version would get stink eye from me.

 

I would just leave the boring grind stuff to the video game world where it belongs. Have them roll their appropreate mechanical skills and be done with it. Roll play a shopping trip for parts and call it a day.

Edited by Desslok

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Ugh, good lord - I hated crafting in Old Republic! It was relentlessly tedious and overly complicated and I hated having to do it when I should be out whupping ass on Sith! So anyone suggested bringing it into a pen and paper version would get stink eye from me.

 

I would just leave the boring grind stuff to the video game world where it belongs.

 

Crafting rules don't have to be overly complex or tedious.  Even a set of guidelines, a discussion of material costs versus labor (for prime example - the mention of ship repair being 500cr per hull point), and some skill usage suggestions would be great for newer or younger players.

 

Are they absolutely necessary?  No.  Can they be done right?  Absolutely.

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Ugh, good lord - I hated crafting in Old Republic! It was relentlessly tedious and overly complicated and I hated having to do it when I should be out whupping ass on Sith! So anyone suggested bringing it into a pen and paper version would get stink eye from me.

 

I would just leave the boring grind stuff to the video game world where it belongs. Have them roll their appropreate mechanical skills and be done with it. Roll play a shopping trip for parts and call it a day.

honestly i'm not trying to be a butt about this, but crafting isn't even required in that game to progress, flashpoints and mission provide all the needed equipment heck i have one toon that didn't do any trades and finished to end just fine. Second, the crafting system is designed to not take you out of the game by having your non party members handle the job while you are out kicking sith. Having a crafting system where you can order your non usable pet/party while you perfectly go play the game is opposite of relentless and overly complicated, its crafting simplified. the only thing ever tedious in crafting is reverse engineering crafted items, otherwise its an auto-pilot crafting system. But to each his own i guess :-P

As for the original poster, i have players who want crafting immersion because thats what they like to role play as during games, simple tradesman or in this case outlaw tech crafters. I often find myself developing in game system of craft to make the game more fun for them.

In EotE, i have crafting broken down as the following as they are in ToR, Mechanics governs (Cybertech(gagdgets and devices), Armormech(armors) and Armstech (weapons)), Medicine governs (Cybernetics(implants and replacement limbs) and Bio-chems(stims, medpacks, bacta, kolto)). the cost in materials for building any item is 25% of the sale cost.

Crafting is always a Int + Skill, difficulty 2. Rarity levels will raise the difficulty, Rarity 0-2 = +0, 3-4 =+1, 5-6 +2, 7+= +3. Restricted or illegal tags upgrade the the diffulty to challenge die by 2.

So a Rarity 2 item thats Illegal or restricted would Int+Skill+2 challenge die.

A triumph or despair can have dire consequences, for example a triumph can add an extra Hard point or grant a new quality to the item like +1 to existing traits such as breach, AP, defense, ect, while Despair can do the opposite or even worse have the item do much worse such as a power cell exploding and the player taking damage, or frying the ships computers during programming, or even discovering that the weapon's stun setting doesn't work and thus a target is killed instead.

threat can increase material costs by either 25% for 1 threat or a setback die to the next action with the item at a cost of 1 per 2 threat. Example, John finishes crafting his item, he was successful but also had 3 threat, his item cost an additional 25% in materials bringing the total to 50% of the item's value and also has 1 setback die added to his next usage of the item.

advantage can either reduce the costs by 15% for 1 advantage or add bonus die to the next action at a cost of 1 per 2 advantage.

I have a more in depth system of craft, which covers blueprints for commercial items, restricted items, and prototypes, how to acquire them or design them, and other things such as gathering materials from scavenging, but this is my quick and dirty to occupy players who want more out of crafting.

 

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I am reminded of the Crafting/Perform/Profession skills in D&D. As far as I'm concerned they should be left to the narrative. Other than for prerequisite reasons I never saw them as useful at all. Pretty much everything that was done by them was more background or story and there was little if any mechanical benefit.

And I play SW:TOR free-2-play and never do any crafting. Waste of time for me.

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As an add-in here, if someone really did want to make a complex crafting system and didn't want to think of all the parts needed you absolutely could reference the parts used to make different items from the game SWG. There are multiple sites still online that have all the parts needed for each item. Just an idea for those who want to open that possible can of worms. 

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OK, I'll ask the obvious. What adventurer "crafts"? What are you building, a blaster? Almost anything you "craft" is done by large mega-corporations with factories of droids or skilled laborers. Are you running the fun game of "assembly line workers" in the Star Wars universe or are you allowing your players to create quilts to keep them warm since "space is cold"?

 

Basically, I question the whole idea of "crafting" in a Star Wars RPG in the first place. Silly if you ask me but to each his own.

Edited by mrvander

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OK, I'll ask the obvious. What adventurer "crafts"? What are you building, a blaster? Almost anything you "craft" is done by large mega-corporations with factories of droids or skilled laborers. Are you running the fun game of "assembly line workers" in the Star Wars universe or are you allowing your players to create quilts to keep them warm since "space is cold"?

 

Basically, I question the whole idea of "crafting" in a Star Wars RPG in the first place. Silly if you ask me but to each his own.

 

Ha!

 

Not a bad point, but nearly every tv show has the resident gadget maker who can cobble something neat and unusual out of spare parts.  It might not look pretty, but it may work great.  Take a blaster, add a few circuit-boards, a bit of twine...etc.  A lot of it would be similar in game to the attachment/mod rules.

 

I think that is where the question lies more than the highly developed technology angle.

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Right. Making something from scratch isn't really done in hi-tech settings because of the complexity of the tools needed. I dare someone in this day and age to build a 1,000,000 transistor microchip from raw materials while travelling around. Now, tweaking an item (adding memory, adjusting software, changing out a few components) that should be possible just as it is today. I can change out the trigger on a firearm to make it lighter or heavier on the pull. Change the grips to better suit my hands. Change the springs in a magazine to adjust how well it feeds to the chamber. Automobile... Well, I can change out the alternator, battery, fuel, etc... but none of this is something one does while moving.

All of this is already handled by the system as written using the item modification rules.

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Some people want crafting rules because;

Some players are, "I've got a blaster rifle."

Some are, "This is my blaster rifle, I made a few modifications myself."

And some are, "This is my custom built blaster rifle, I call her Vera, she blows s**t up!"

We all have different ways of enjoying the game. Just because some one comes up with an idea you don't have to use it if it ain't your thing. Nobody is going to come around and force you to play a certain way.

At least not until my Death Star is built ... then you're all screwed. Mwhahahaha!!!

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see that's why i mentioned earlier, some people prefer to be a crafting hero, they enjoy crafting and prefer to be the type of character that can support a group by making their items and making them with an edge.

You ask, why would it matter, it matters to a GM who may wish to have  player have more fun to their play styles. I've got people who prefer the idea of smuggling or trade being a decent way of living, and thus are always thinking of how they can bulk purchase low on one world and sell high on another.

The main thing is, you have gear that is mass produced, and then you have gear that is homemade and possibly better in some aspect than the original. In one saga game, i had a player who wanted to start their own buisness to create arms and equipment, but who would buy something if its not as good as whats on the market. So having the power to build something that also lets you make them better helps define your PC as someone unique and above the cut when it comes to crafting. You don't want blastech getting the credit because your friends who down rancors, jedi, and imperial forces, you want the galaxy of scum and villany to know that when you buy a Jakobs you buying a gun that only needs 1 shot. :-D

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Some people want crafting rules because;

Some players are, "I've got a blaster rifle."

Some are, "This is my blaster rifle, I made a few modifications myself."

And some are, "This is my custom built blaster rifle, I call her Vera, she blows s**t up!"

We all have different ways of enjoying the game. Just because some one comes up with an idea you don't have to use it if it ain't your thing. Nobody is going to come around and force you to play a certain way.

At least not until my Death Star is built ... then you're all screwed. Mwhahahaha!!!

This is why the game has the Technician career and specs like Outlaw Tech and Gadgeteer. This is one of the aspects of the Mechanics skill, whether a career skill or not. This is why the game has Weapon Attachments and Armor Attachments. This why the game has Starship and Vehicle Modifications. So you can customize your equipment and vehicles and have your "Vera" or your "General Lee" or your "Aluminum Falcon". A Crafting system does nothing for this as it is already there.

 

 

The main thing is, you have gear that is mass produced, and then you have gear that is homemade and possibly better in some aspect than the original. In one saga game, i had a player who wanted to start their own buisness to create arms and equipment, but who would buy something if its not as good as whats on the market. So having the power to build something that also lets you make them better helps define your PC as someone unique and above the cut when it comes to crafting. You don't want blastech getting the credit because your friends who down rancors, jedi, and imperial forces, you want the galaxy of scum and villany to know that when you buy a Jakobs you buying a gun that only needs 1 shot. :-D

 

Are they playing a PC adventurer or a PC businessman? There are already game aspects that allow you to make customized equipment. If you want to go into business though, how are you going to have time for all that adventuring? You can't be off saving the universe if you are stuck in a factory or shop producing product for people to buy. You can have a shop and work on yours and your groups stuff, but you are not going into business. Fix up and sell the odd piece of equipment here or there, sure, but not have a career in it.

 

You want special personalized equipment? Then either pay someone to do it or have the means to do it yourself, be that having the skills to do it yourself or someone in the group to do it. The options are already available in the game. We certainly don't need some "Crafting" system for it.

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Ooh, I can CRAFT! Glee-Giddy-Glee! All I need to is gather the right components and make some rolls then I can build my very own DEATH STAR!

 

As I've said before, to each his own. That said and I don't mean to repeat anything mouthymerc has said, I fall squarely in the same camp. Crafting in Star Wars is just plain silly.

 

Let's use a real-life example. I drive cars every day. Does that mean I can build car from scratch? Hell no and even if I did happen to have those skills in design, metal-work, CAD, engineering, and mechanics and who-knows-what-else. How long does that take? How do I adventure and travel? Now let's say i DO make one. Is the product I make in my garage better than the one mass-produced with all the trained minds and financials of the large corporations? Hardly, you'd be lucky if it ran at all. If I were rich, I could HIRE people to help me make cars based on my ideas and design (see Tucker) - but I can't CRAFT one. It's a fantasy concept at best for an RPG and one that really belongs in video games (even there, I think its silly).

 

It's just logistically a silly idea unless you are running the fun game of big business manufacturing in Star Wars and your setting is in a Lianna business office.

 

"Who's running out for coffee this morning? - make a perception check."

"Ohhh, you failed that leadership check, no one accepted your weekly financial meeting request. but you did get some advantages so you see a better time slot now."

 

All joking aside, as has been pointed out, the game already allows for the kind of modifications that aren't silly and beyond any semblance of reason.

 

Now, go ahead and craft if that's what floats your boat. Might as well resurrect the Emperor and make ROTJ mean nothing while you're at it. :P

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I'm surprised by the fairly negative 'you're playing it wrong' remarks in this thread. If people are interested in crafting (IE the way Luke and Anakin and other characters from the EU have done) then that is perfectly OK. The RAW do not give much direction in this way except for some vague talents. The references to video games in this thread were not to say "help me copy SWTORs crafting mechanic" they were more used as a refernece to the types of things you can craft and or the names of crafting skills/crafting components. If used correctly crafting in any tabletop rpg can be a way to introduce new items and quests.

 

And modding and crafting from sractch are clearly two different things so why even bring that up?

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I'm surprised by the fairly negative 'you're playing it wrong' remarks in this thread. If people are interested in crafting (IE the way Luke and Anakin and other characters from the EU have done) then that is perfectly OK. The RAW do not give much direction in this way except for some vague talents. The references to video games in this thread were not to say "help me copy SWTORs crafting mechanic" they were more used as a refernece to the types of things you can craft and or the names of crafting skills/crafting components. If used correctly crafting in any tabletop rpg can be a way to introduce new items and quests.

 

And modding and crafting from sractch are clearly two different things so why even bring that up?

What then are we talking about when it comes to crafting then? A jedi crafting his lightsaber? Sounds like a plot and narrative thing to me. In fact anything beyond the mod rules already in place pretty much sounds like fluff. Gonna make your own stimpaks? Grenades? What? Pay for the item and fluff it as you "crafting" it. Everyone can pat you on the back and marvel at your ability.

 

My issue with something like this is that more often than not in an RPG that this amounts to someone trying to endrun around the costs of certain items in order to have better equipment for cheaper or no costs. And the reason that modding and crafting are brought up is because many times it is weapons that want to be made. So you get someone who wants to make some uber weapon that no one else has, therefore skirting the mod rules. And if he doesn't want to do that, but just have a normal weapon that he can say he made, then just buy the **** thing and say he made it. Its fluff.

 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it, create crafting rules, just that I see no point to it.

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If you see no point in it then your posts in this thread really aren't adding anything to the discussion and are a distraction from what the people who are interested in it are trying to accomplish. Also, just because the game is designed to be narrative doesn't mean it can't be more crunchy if you're interested in that kind of thing. I liked SAGA edition, so far I think I like EOTE better for many reasons not the least of which are the narrative dice. Those same narrative dice could be used in some interesting ways when dealing with a DIY crafting system

IE you succeed with despair so the droid you're building has a quirck of some sort that can add unique story telling opportunities. Maybe he was designed to be a medical droid but with the despair roll he sometimes uses the wrong drug when injecting patients.

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