While I would make this off limits for Golarion, I wouldn't forbid it from another campaign setting. The making of Ioun Stones has been lost on Golarion for some time, and this is indeed a very Ioun Stoney device!
Otherwise: Hack: Requires Craft Wondrous and Craft Wand, the spell to make it and levitate. Costs as per wand. (CL x SL x 50gp)
Wands are FIFTY CHARGES of a spell that just about anyone can use, and they don't provoke attacks of opportunity. Chill Touch, Ghoul Touch, etc... as long as it's not a ranged attack, wands are excellent little toys for commonly used spells, especially ones you don't want to prepare every day but still use frequently. Infernal Healing is now the most cost-effective HP per GP heal in the game when in a wand!
Sorry. My Chelaxian Tiefling Paladin wears spiked plate armor and does subdual damage with a bardiche. He spends his first round of combat, almost always, demanding surrender and warning that he's a paladin. As if they couldn't tell by the facial tattoo and the relic armor.
-Carry- a scimitar, but don't use it in combat if it's important to your religious rituals. Clerics are going to use them because they're superior to basically any other weapon they can wield without blowing a feat slot. Besides, it'd be nice to have a nice one handed slashing weapon for if your arm is trapped or broken and you can't use that spiffy Falchion.
That being said...
Can you grapple a character/vampire using Gaseous Form?
1) Can an Earth Elemental use Earth Glide to gain the improved cover of creatures chest-deep in water, while still attacking 'creatures on land' with no penalties for itself?
2) Can an Earth Elemental wear equipment? In which slots? Does equipment and gear an Earth Elemental carries go into the ground with it? Can it entomb things?
3) Can an earth elemental take creatures with it when it earth glides, and if it can, can it entomb creatures by making grapple or reposition combat maneuvers?
Yeah, there's a severe lack of correctly sized giant weasel companions, horses, and the most popular animal companions: T-Rex, Ankylosaurus, Tiger, and Gorilla.
A correct plastic wagon mini would go over well, so would some decent heavy armor figs: Spiked plate w/ halberd, spiked shield fighter in plate, mounted knight on a horse w/lance, -DWARVES- of all sorts, especially alchemists and tower-shield dwarves.
Really need to get out some serious class-based minis. One of each race of each class. Gnome Alchemist, Fighter, Witch... Some tiny familiars and some wizard and witch minis with a familiar hitch in the base where the familiar's tiny tiny base sits would be epic.
Yes, the lock-picking in Skyrim is -absolutely- a kind of mini-game. It is a skill-based challenge on pattern recognition and elimination of outlying paths to find the single path. It is a 'hot and cold' minigame. It just happens to also be extremely simplistic.
The ancient, ancient game 'Hillsfar' also had a mini-game for lock-picking, one that involved specific shapes of picks and pushing down tumblers. That was a much more complex mini-game layed over the top of the 'lock picking' skin, to achieve the same result.
Signs, Books, Scrolls, Letters... all permanent, stealable in-game resources that can be sold and traded.
We need message boards IN GAME, and maybe something for someone to deliver as mail...
Diplomacy needs hand-offable scrolls and things to take to the next kingdom over, seriously. With seals on.
/introduce could also have a function attatched. Without argument, you introduce yourself.
/introduce = "Hello. My name is Bram Brightmore."
"Bram. Stop that."
"Sorry." /introduce THE AMAZING Bram
GREAT post, KitNyx. Faved.
And if you can buy/build/manage an 'apprentice' NPC who can follow your instructions and use your own private materials and equipment to follow your commands and carry out the building while you're not there, creating off of a schematic you have designed, so much the better.
I am creating a set of 22 longswords for the new guardsman contingent of Elysium City. I craft one longsword, focusing on defense and damage, knowing that the NPC guardsmen are going to be -fine- with however much the sword weighs. I pick several heavy alloys and woods from my stock, and assemble the sword. Once it's completed and I'm satisfied with the stats as generated, I go to my NPC 'assistant', who I paid for/unlocked, and enter his dialogue UI. I choose 'make more of these' and give him the sword. He then tells me he needs 22 fir, (which he will make into handles), 220 dolozian enhanced iron (which will make all the metal components of the weapons), and 44 units of pig-leather, to make handle-wraps. I go to my hopper, fill up my encumbrance plus a bit, schlep the eight feet over to him, give him a dirty look for not going over and grabbing the materials himself from the hopper TEN FEET AWAY from him, and then give him the materials. In 22 minutes, my order will be ready.
I then kick back with a mimosa and wait for one of my guildies to come in begging for a new helmet.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
"I don't want to fight them."
"Why not?! You've been killing bandits out here for two years! You're a renowned bandit hunter. You're not afraid of a little group of eight bandits, are you?"
"Jaun... they all have swords. There's eight of them. That's eight chances to stab me every three seconds or so. Against my... what... three chances to stab them? I can only duck and roll so fast. They don't look like -farmers-. They look like -bandits-. If they looked like -farmers- we wouldn't be talking about beating up -bandits-. I'll stay here and keep an eye on them, you go back and grab some help... THEN we'll route them."
It's the intention of the development team that virtually everything you buy, touch, use, and eat will be crafted by players in some fashion. (Might just be a lot of 'automated crafting' going on by NPC citizenry.) It shouldn't be necessary for *you* to contribute to the economy beyond kill/loot/spend. And speaking just for my fledgeling 12 citizen settlement (so far), =I'd= certainly welcome your sword in protecting caravans, solving wolf attacks, putting down goblin outbreaks, and defending the mine!
Ryan Mercy wrote:
Nuada. Hercules. Anyone else who cranks out their version of 'Excalibur'. 'Nuff said.
Not only should crafting be fun, it should be as fun and involved as slaying monsters!
So you can already see the similarities. Why should it be any different, when you have already gathered your tools (arms and armor/forge and hammer), gotten your resources together (HP, Spells, Mana/Iron, Wood, Leather, Elemental Flame), and headed to the dungeon (reversed for crafters/adventurers), that the FUN PART should then be so wildly different? Adventurers blast their way through the rank and file baddies to eventually get to the boss monster and have a rewarding, entertaining experience. Why are crafters so often stuck with 'aaaaand click. YAY!'
If 'and click yay!' is your style of crafting, okay, why can't we support that with a 'take 10' button, and make the actual act of crafting SO MUCH MORE involved for those who want it to be? And then reward them for being more involved?
If "I want to push a button and it's not fair that you get benefits from playing minigames I don't want to play" is your argument, then maybe you should be more concerned with battling monsters and getting resources and protecting the settlements of those who do?
(Obviously not aiming all this at you, Ryan, I'm just stream-of-consciousness writing!)
And while it would be fun to leave it at that, I think Blaeringr is actually correct, but that he's meaning "newbs" and "veterans" as those at the bottom and top, respectively, of the "normal power curve" that Ryan mentions for "Heroic Adventurers".
Very helpful, Nihimon, thanks! Much more constructive than the 'pooh-poohing' I was feeling from Blae.
That 'newb to veteran' curve appears to still leave a -lot- of room for disparity. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that your average 'vet' will -still- be able to walk away from an encounter with ten newbies with little more than a hand-cramp from all his button-pushing destruction. And he's not likely to bother and try to loot the bodies afterward, either.
I'm still getting the idea from this post that A crafter being able to push weapons and arms upwards of 2-3 *times* the effectiveness of a baseline newbie sword isn't out of the question.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
"Balance comes when you have conflict between groups of heroic adventurers. In such encounters, the absolute age of the characters should be less important than their tactics, gear, coordination, and player skill."
This is in regards to middle level, 6-10, adventurers. Above level 10, arguably the latter 70+% of your characters life, if the training model follows EVE's exponential growth style, you will be pushing into "Vet Territory". Why shouldn't a veteran smith make swords and armor that tip the balance as much as having another party member in the mix? If his full gear added 25% effectiveness to four party members, he is a virtual, no-HP fifth party member. Very much in the same way as adding another member of the party or adding full WBL makes an encounter +1 EL for Pathfinder!
I think that handles the question 'what about balance'? Since it was never the intent of this original post to say 'by how much', but to ask 'what can we do to make crafting more enjoyable and entertaining for all players', I hope we can move on?
The Devs have to give us more hard numbers before we can give feedback on hard-number issues. We can only brainstorm and salivate.
Also: In Pathfinder, you pay 2/8/18/32/50 THOUSAND gold for simple +1 to +5 bonuses. Don't tell me an 'effective' +2 over and above that (effectively an ADDITIONAL 48k PER SALE) isn't worth the time it takes to level a character that far! As in Mithral Breastplate, player master-crafted goods may become the only 'real choice for enchanting'.
In Pathfinder there are only two kinds of armor 'worth' enchanting, outside of very specific circumstances. Worth wearing, really. Mithral breastplate is so cost-effective and effort saving with the movement, sleeping in, and AC bonuses, that it becomes the light/medium armor of choice. If you are going to wear heavy armor, outside of certain noteable exceptions, you wear Adamantine Full-Plate. You build your character with the armor type in mind, you save up to get it as your second or third purchase, you never look back.
SoR was -excellent-! I played a creepy tree-man armor crafter in that game. The masky tree people were interesting, to begin with, but by the time my three-month-or-so run of the game was up I had barely begun scratching the sheer amount of interest you could really generate in their system.
So you don't want just 'iron swords' either. You'd rather have additives and alchemy, mettalurgy and skill, all playing parts in the way your final item comes out. Getting potent fluxes from your local alchemist to purify the metal and give bonuses on your own checks and tricks for making the certain stats of materials go up or down the directions you want them to be...
So the +1 Sword that comes out of the enchanter also has a host of minor changes, up and/or down, depending on how you did, and what you did, on your end of the crafting?
Thank you, KitNyx! The point of these forums, and this post, is to both ask the devs to pay attention to this oft overlooked portion of games, and to get more feedback from the community on it. I believe they've taken to calling it 'crowd forging'?
And let's crowdforge over this a bit! Really, -WHAT IS- fun in crafting!? What is it to you? What is it to me? What is it to Holey Knight and Nihimon?
Some people may enjoy the research aspect, putting items together in unusual combinations to get certain benefits...
So what if blade length was a modular thing? What if blades <12 inches (at 3 inches per blade segment) were daggers, and blades between 12 and 19 inches were short swords, and blades with 20-41 inches were long swords, and blades with 41-50 inches were bastard swords, and blades over 50 inches (up to 66 inches) were greatswords? And you could curve those blade shapes in the crafter to make a scimitar, or a kukri, or a falchion, or remove every other segment to make a rapier ('thinning' the blade) within certain length catagories, and each adjustment to blade length and handle length and pommel weight and hand-guard size was an adjustment on weapon speed, damage, accuracy, critical effect, and durability... that each of those was a trade-off for the weapon in the realm of .5%... so that a longsword does logically more damage than a dagger, but has a somewhat slower attack speed. Then a really long dagger does more damage than a really short dagger, but the really short dagger is a quicker, more accurate jab.
Is that kind of complexity and research what you want to know/see/intuit/play with, or are you looking more like the GW2 method of crafting, where you have recipes for a few basic things unlocked as you skill up, then you combine them together to make more effective things: I make a wooden blade-handle, then I make a dragon hide strip, then I combine them together with basic twine (a consumeable crafting ingredient purchased from trainers, merchants, and cat-lovers) in my 'research' window and learn... ta-da! A recipe for dragon-hide blade-grips! Or even more macro than that? In GW2 you literally research a kind of inscription, say, Valkyrie for +Toughness and +Power, and then combine a longsword blade, a blade handle, and your Valkyrie Inscription to make a Valkyrie Longsword. A sword that does Longsword-family damage, and gives +toughness and +power. The only 'meta' part is the inscription, which is made from a dowel (refine logs into planks, planks into dowel) and some body parts: ie blood, bone, horn, claw, fang, etc...
For me it's more the first one. I want some -control- and intuitiveness in what I'm doing. Moreover, I want the ability to distinguish my blades from others. If a +5 weapon is ~50% more effective than a basic weapon, I'd actually be pretty pleased if my work could make a sword skewed in any direction on the chart at ~20% by level 20. I think people would pay quite a lot of money for that. While I don't mind so much putting 'one unit of wood, four units of metal, one unit of hide' into an interface and pushing the craft button, I want each of those units to have some influence on what I'm crafting. The idea of 'bronze blade, iron blade, cold iron blade, steel blade, darksteel blade, mithral blade, adamantine blade' leaves me a bit 'cold'.
So: In Short:
*Crafting is more fun for me when: I can control and customize the product more than simply 'being able to make the same thing as everyone else'.
*What I enjoy about crafting is: the ability to put something of my own effort persistently out into the world, particularly when people recognize it is mine.
I went a long long way in GW2 to hunt down a very rare type of recipe that spent my karma to make weapons other people could use. Almost no one was making that kind of weapon and shield, and I felt pretty spiffy for having been able to supply certain members of my circle of friends with those toys. They looked interesting, and behaved interestingly with a slightly odd mix of stats that couldn't be gotten through the traditional dowel/inscription system. Big high point for me in GW2.
Never came close to -touching- the pride I felt at some of the admittedly middling quality stuff I created in SW:G. The crafting in that game was so complex that really paying -attention- was an extremely rewarding effort. I really had control in what I was pumping out, and I went to no less than three planets scavenging materials for that blaster pistol. But when I was done, by golly, it was -mine-. It was hacked, tweaked, and optimized, and made of the very best materials I could suck, mine, or coerce out of the ground, trees, and beasties. And it had my -name- on it when I was done.
And that's all great Economic stuff which has already been implemented in the game, Captain, but that's Economics, and not Crafting itself. You want to be a merchant, great, that's likely to be part and parcel of the Crafters game, unless you want to outsource the mercantile part of your crafting and just let your settlement supply you with materials, while you supply the merchant with finished goods, and he supplies the world outside the village for you. Which... you know... is how -real life- works, too.
But for the crafting part of the crafting... for the clicking on the buttons to make the sword... which part of that is entertaining to you?
Do you prefer the simple one-click longsword? Or would you rather have to assemble the handle, assemble the handle-wrap, assemble the blade, assemble the pommel, assemble the crossguard, assemble the weapon, polish the weapon, sharpen the weapon, cut the bloodgroove, etch the blade, and inscribe the crossguard? Would you rather each of those steps was a one-click process, or that each of those steps also required multiple segments of interaction?
If the crafting contains a mini-game to stitch, a mini-game to forge, a mini-game to smelt, and a mini-game to etch, but ALSO contains a 'Take 10' button that skips the mini-game for a simple progress bar, are you more or less bothered by the inclusion of the mini-game?
I think are misreading the intent, Blaeringr. The intent of the MMO as I have just read is to have "new characters always be relevant", not to have "minimal difference". I've just read in several places that if you acquired a higher level weapon 'somewhere' that you might, if you are fortunate as a low level character, be able to spend ALL your threads binding the weapon, as opposed to 'all your level appropriate gear'.
It is not: Level 8 guy is virtually indistinguishable from Level 1 guy.
It is: Level 8 guy actually got sneak-attacked by that Level 1 guy and -noticed-, unlike in other MMOs where a discrepency of that level means that you virtually don't exist.
I imagine hitpoints to be in the HUNDREDS, as with other MMOs, not in the TENS, as with Table Top Pathfinder. A sword that does 'plus one damage' is likely to be a very low-end enhancement, as opposed to what we would call a '+1 weapon'.
Handing a newb a +5 sword sounds like a great way to -lose- your sword by a marauder or mis-handled respawn. Remember: No threads, no bind, no sword. Unless they've confirmed that weapons and armor will NEVER be lost on death? I read that you will respawn with weapons and armor, but that was before the 'thread' issue went official.
You're -incredibly- negative, Blaering. Are you playing devil's advocate, or do you really believe that we're all going to be using virtually indistinguishable gear? It -is- still an equipment-based game. It feels as if you're violently defending an untenable position, or fitting over a topic that bothered you. Can you sight the segment that has you up in arms here?
And -inane-. These people cheat at a skill-based game why?
Well... no... duh... I've been the victim of RPer griefing before, I can certainly imagine ten year olds on their parents PCs giggling with snot running onto their shirts...
It should still tie your client up long enough that you would be better served just -playing- the danged game. >.<
I hope we at LEAST get the option to write our own books and such...
The Holey Knight wrote:
I guess I don't know what is meant by "mini-games". If the "game" has to do with crafting items then I understand, but it seems like said minigame is just busywork to give you something to do while your thing is being created.
Go download and play Puzzle Pirates for ninety minutes. If you can put it down that soon. In the game, you play a Gems style mini-game in order to rig the ship. The better you do, the faster the boat goes. Your carpenter is doing a piece-fitting game, trying to match up random pieces of flotsam into the holes punched in the deck by the last fight. The ship health increases better depending on how he does. Meanwhile, the ship is taking on water (ALWAYS) and you have people at the bilge-pump stations trying to do a swap-match game to pump out the bilge. If they do too poorly, the ship starts to flounder.
The goal in this mini-game is to remove the impurities from your ore. Starting with -good- ore makes the game harder, and allows for smaller chains of scum, but you have less room to improve to 'pristine iron' anyway. In this game you swap single bubbles on the slush to get impure bubbles to connect to each other. Impure bubbles that make chains of 5 or more are 'scraped', cleaning the ore and leaving you with a better slurry to cool into ingots before you begin your work. The character's 'refining' skill determines how many 'swaps' the player gets to make in the mini-game, and any 'lot' of ore can only be smelted once.
So you can see how easy it is to come up with ideas for games that both impact the forging of equipment as well as entertain the players, giving them something to do OTHER than hack and slash. And since some people don't want to do that, the 'take 10' option should be available after they've tried at least once, or have passed a certain thresh-hold of training.
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
Yes, we've heard that as well, and we're very excited about it. My wife was making ~2.5mil a week on ToR. She liiiiikes playing the market. I'm likely going to get drafted more for marching cross-country with her than in trying to expand and defend my own settlement...
As for guilding... We intend to start our own:
IC recruitment. IC advertisement. IC interaction. NO OOC ALLOWED. We're going to try and solve 'Guild Drama' the old-fashioned way. By not talking to people out of character.
The first guild I ran (NATION, on Virtue Server, City of Villains) was done that way, and terribly fun. I couldn't get people to challenge my authority with a sledgehammer and an ice-pick... *eyerolls* That's what I get for playing a sadistic telepath while being someone who's terribly good at guessing what you might do next...
How do you expect a +4 sword to be around the same value as a regular old non-magical non-masterwork sword? Won't that cost a LOT more than anything a new player can afford?
We've already heard that there will be 'high level gear' (read the article on 'threading') so someone must be able to make it.
The point was to not make the lower level players irrelevant. Unlike actual Pathfinder, six first level characters are going to be able to jump, and injure, a sixteenth level character. My money is still on Sir Smacks-a-Lot though...
You can handle that with a check every random number of attempts by GM poking. Or requiring you to still move between games to prevent idle-logging. And how exactly does a script whack-a-mole? Can a script play Plants vs Zombies? Perhaps I am unaware of the meaning of 'script' in this case?
I have! But what Ryan is talking about there is fundamentally trade and economics, not craftsmanship. The actual act of crafting should be fun, as well, and should have enough variation that 'a Varandal Sword' should be different than 'this sword I bought out of a barrel of other swords at The Crossing'.
I am going back and reading blog posts though... may as well start at the beginning...
On Bounties: Yeah, we'd need to have a 'justice pool' or some such, as well as respawn rights for a jail, perhaps, once the thief goes down?
Also, do we know for sure already that they will be flagged for EVERYONE if they pickpocket? I thought it was only for the victim? Wanted Posters would flag that individual for -everyone- unless they had activated a disguise. Again, more use of 'soft skills'.
*mumble mumble mumble...*
What was that?
A DOCTOR OF DEVIANT SEXUALITY IN RESTORATION ENGLAND.
... ... ...
They're on to me! *flees*
She's a history doctor. ;)
Banditry is violence to acquire goods. It's stealing -and- coersion. It is most certainly evil. That's why the bandit's credo is 'Your money or your life.'
"There's just a rule out here in the River Kingdoms... A man sees you comin. He gets a chance to defend his goods. You don't sneak-thief. That's a coward's game. You tell a man 'gimme the wagon or your wife' and he gets a choice to do it, or take you out tryin' to stop you. And you'd be surprised how often you get the wife."
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
I whole-heartedly agree that the most vital aspect of character development in a world like this will be the level at which any given character can differentiate him/herself from any other given character who aims to complete similar goals.
Exactly. And MORE importantly at later levels than in the beginning. There should be an -order of magnitude- more end-builds than there should of starting points. You may begin with 11 classes, but you should have a choice of at least 121 paths to take within those classes while still qualifying for your capstone. My wife wants to -focus- on administration and crafting, and ideally, there will be support for that. Support that makes crafting and playing the market as entertaining as adventuring. PARTICULARLY if that playstyle supports and enhances others playstyles.
I quit WoW for this same reason. I am not grinding seventy levels to wear the same set of armor as EVERY OTHER WARLOCK, thank you. Cookie Cutting = Bad. We fixed that with 3.5, let's not go back with PFO.
Bashing on 2e:
Back in my day (which was a thursday, in case you weren't there) every fighter was craning to be the same guy. It was 18/00 or go home. You wore plate because that's how it was done at the time. You wouldn't dream of fighting with a bow unless it was a backup weapon. It was sword and board or nothin. You might have had the odd duck now and then with a greatsword, but mostly we made fun of that guy for overcompensating.
A character with 22 dex and studded leather armor should be just as sturdy as one with 14 dex and full-plate.
No. This is wrong. You should be differentiating a bit more, really. Squishy guys should -feel- squishier. Plus, remember DnD: 22 = +6, Studded Leather = +3; Plate = +9, 14 = +2 (maximum of +1) Plate = +10. The plate guy should, realistically, have MUCH better damage mitigation, but move more slowly, and have smaller evasion.
Ideally, out of 10 strikes, each worth a base of 150 damage, the light armor guy should be hit four times for 85% damage (510 damage), and the plate fellow should be hit eight times for 55% damage. (660 damage)
The plate guy should have better HP, and - one would hope - some kind of innate damage reduction or other mitigation. I just read a post about AC and it appears my example is just about correct, but one hopes they've gone more into the math than 5xAC Bonus = DR and 10xDex Bonus = Evasion score. ;p
Bard: Bardic Music = Back of the Party Parity (using continuous interesting performances to make interesting buffs happen to the interesting people) Everquest did this right. Bring back Twisting.
Barbarian: RAGE (+ Rage Powers. Momentary buffs paired with a momentary weakness. This is a 'mode class'. You're a sub-par fighter until you start packing on your 'rage mode'.)
Cleric: Channel Energy + Domains (Thematic skins that add a scaling mechanic to the way your cleric plays.)
Druid: Animal Companion + Wild Shape (Don't forget, though, that clerics of the animal domain and rangers also get animal companions, as do Paladins!)
Fighter: BEHOLD THE POWER OF FEATS: Customization and retraining should be the hallmark of this archetype. A 'cyclical slot' or something should be implemented, if actual 'feats' aren't used.
Monk: Whuppass on glass: monks are either 'flowing style' or 'crushing style'. Crushers deal two-weapon fighting style damage, Flowers can't be hit and knock people around with status effects.
Paladin: Hybrid Class - Fighter + Cleric (+ smite!)
Ranger: Hybrid Class - Fighter + Druid (+ favored enemy!)
Rogue: Sneak attack, sure, but Paizo has re-defined the rogue. ROGUE TRICKS are where it's at for this class! Like barbarian rage powers and fighter tricksiness, they should have a pool of modular stuff they can slurp out of.
Sorcerer: Magic, sure, but all about the bloodline. Look at ALL the sorcerer archetypes.
Wizard: Majik Pahwerz. Wizards are all about the spells. They have schools, too, usually, but really... it's about the spells.
Later on, maybe we'll see Alchemists (Bombs), Cavaliers (Teamwork), Magus (Hybrid fighter/mage, spellstrike), Witches (Spells + Hexes, same as rage powers and rogue tricks), Gunslingers (... >.>), Summoners (All about the Eidolon), Oracles (Spells + Mystery), and Inquisitors (JUDGEMENTs).
My 11-year-old stepdaughter says that you should have an 'eyelet hitting game' for sewing. I suggest having a look-see at Rockband. Have the leather scroll past you, and you have to hit the eyelets at the right time.
HAVE ALL MINI-GAMES BE RUN CLIENT-SIDE. You don't want lag to kill your gameplay experience and wreck your materials.
JUST getting to that, Nikita!
The other thing we need to do is look at minigames. It was actually a near miss in the terms of 'fun' with Everquest II. You have a few things at your disposal, via water, rags, stone grinder, and heat. You combine them to deal with 'problems' that come up during crafting... there's only a few problems with this.
Push button, solve problem; and 'dingy interface'.
Give the crafters something to LOOK at! They're going to be staring at the same screen for hours during their play career, and they're going to want something pretty to look at. Tongs that move, big candy buttons, visceral sounds. Solve the dingy interface!
And moreover: When you get into mid-level crafting, you should probably be looking at puzzle games, riddles, solve-the-formulae, or even 'alchemical whack-a-mole', and other kinds of miniature types of 'fun'. Making them mandatory has, for a long time, been a downplay, but perhaps characters can 'take ten' and avoid the gameplay, as opposed to those who are trying the roll with mini-game involvement? 'Take Twenty' should be an option only once you've unlocked a much more advanced version.
You really, REALLY need to give us some cosmetic options, too.
Thank you please.
So with the above Jaundaluv example, our crafter goes:
Light Armor Smithing >
As lower tier skills, we imagine at some point that Jaundaluv probably bit the crossbow bolt and bought all of the mastercraft skills. Some customizations and themes that can be used, even on heavy armor, might require moderate to high levels of mastery even in the branch that stems from Light Armor Mastercraft. Like, say, Skimpy from being an excellent Light Armor Crafter, or Elk from being a Medium Armor Crafter (knowing how to do hide armor).
So he's spent thousands of training hours on his crafting skills, and in combat, he's officially like, a Level 3 Rogue, but in practice, he's more like a Level 13 Expert.
But making crafting fun, making it a cerebral exercise, and making minerals valuable, comes more from what we learned from playing StarWars: Galaxies. The game had what was arguably an easily broken into crafting mechanic with -incredible- depth. You need durability for your plates, malleability for your rivets, flexibility for your straps, and no one really -cares-, but ideally you need durability for your buckles, too. Once you're into mastercrafting, you should be looking at the quality of your materials. Any schlub apprentice smith can make a suit of chain mail out of pig iron, but you need to first make steel, binding your nickel, charcoal, and iron together to make it bright and strong. Once you're mastercrafting you should be looking at multiple tiers of mastery. If your armor-training skill goes up to 20 to determine just how good you can be at wearing full-plate, the crafter should have 20 levels of certification for 'levels' of full-plate he can craft, each marginally better than the last, and each requiring that level of armor-training to wear effectively.
Then your master smith goes about the world digging in the ground for highest quality iron, highest quality nickel, and highest quality copper, and returns to mix his reagents in the way that only a wizardly smith can... While any apprentice might have dug the iron out of the ground, he probably can't Appraise it the way a master smith can, and probably can't squeeze the best use out during the smelting process...
This means that your armor stats are dependent on the stats of the hides and ores involved in the making of the armor. The same goes for swords. And if the devs give us just a 90 word limit on descriptive text for an inspected or examined object, we can even tell you what we used.
"Jaundalev Greymantle creates his plates from Stoneforge iron, shipped at great cost from the Stoneforge Delve far to the east. He uses premium leather from Scarrowbridge for his straps, fashions rivets from his own high quality copper mine. This blood-lacquered Wolf-Themed Full-Plate was fashioned for his friend Fighter on Abadius the 14th, 1477."
Maybe Jaundalev gets an apprentice who handles a lot of his lower level work, shaping the rivets and buckles for him. Maybe he purchases the services of a company that ships over his iron. Maybe Paladin and Fighter make the runs to Scarrowbridge twice a week to bring leather back from the cow farms there, where they've taken to breeding cows with really, really tough skin. That armor suddenly has a story, and if Jaundalev doesn't make the best breast-plate in the world, he can at least send some of his custom-smelted breast-plate front and backs to the best medium armor crafter in the world, forming a partnership to make fat piles of profit across the nation!
Still, what I'm saying is, make crafting -deep- and involved where materials are concerned. Armor stats should be more than just 'ACP and Armor Bonus'.
My wife and I have been discussing the merits of a game without combat. She's a pacifist, RL, and has only just started to get enthusiastic about a Pathfinder character who deals whopping, steaming, make the GM cry levels of damage. (Thank the designers for a Halfling Titan-Mauler Barbarian... >.<)
Still, when we played SW:G the thing she wibbled on about for -days- was the ability to get in and play a dancer, or doctor, or engineer, and -never- have to swing a weapon. She wants to do much the same thing with PFO, and it sounds like she -just might- get the chance to do that, playing a cleric of Erastil.
Yes. She's going to stay at home in the kitchen and bake me a pie. ;p
Still, gender-roles and the only chauvinistic deity on Golarion aside, to make a character like that playable, you have to make crafting fun.
One of the very best ways to do that is to give characters the ability to really, really, really specialize. Give basic functionality to anyone and everyone, but make it a 10,000 hour trip to be the world's best platemail crafter. IE:
Long, story-driven example:
Jaundaluv Greymantle, the Half-Elven artisan, has set out to be the world's best Full-Plate designer. Our beloved protagonist begins in the neutral aligned nation to start with, betting on his platemail being a commodity all will want, and being basically unconcerned with anything that doesn't begin with comm- and end with -erce. Jaundaluv makes a few friends, a fighter-archetype and a paladin-of-Abadar-archetype, who hope to make use of the craftsman's skills later on.
Hoping for some usefulness in the realm of 'getting the materials I need to craft', Jaundaluv begins with the basic training of the Rogue, learning to sneak and hone his perception, and picking up the weapon skills required to use light weapons. A few hours later, he's already working on his crafting skills, learning basic light armors while Fighter and Paladin trek along beside him, having a merry old time foraging for food, running afoul of some goblins and hobgoblins, and prospecting for decent iron and/or copper. Sure enough, by the end of the day, Jaundaluv has gathered hides, copper, iron, and fiber/cloth necessary to try his first unlocked recipe: leather armor.
Following the clear, large-lettered onscreen instructions with glowing arrows and interesting sound-effects, he places the materials into the forge/bench/widget and creates six leather straps, twenty copper rivets, four iron buckles, a leather armor chest-piece, a leather armor skirt, leather pauldrons, and leather boots. He carries these over to the next widget in the public crafting space, and bangs out his first set of basic, +2 AC Leather Armor.
... A year passes...
After learning all basic recipes, Jaundaluv began specializing in heavy armor. He can master-craft heavy armor out of dragon-hide, mithral, even adamantine. He can stain and lacquer heavy armors in interesting designs and colors, and do chaising in gold and silver. He can theme armor with bats, wolves, crows, bulls, demons, angels, inevitables, fish, flames, ivy, or stags; though he never bothered to branch off and get the themes for butterflies, 'super heavy', 'skimpy', stars, or skulls. Moreover, he can get the most out of his armor well before it's enchanted, making more resilient, lighter armor than most smiths, IF he can get better metal. After seven thousand hours of work, the smith-mark of Jaundaluv Greymantle is known across the River Kingdoms as being the -very- best plate you can buy.
Speaking as someone who has recently suffered significantly bruised ribs from a half-power sword-swing through my chainmail... not so much effective against bludgeoning weapons.
I play from time to time in one of those 'medieval recreation' things.
I'm getting an idea here, though, and I want to post a new thing about crafting...
I -just- posted this elsewhere, but Wanted Posters should auto-flag the portrayed individuals for 5x Int hours on inspection. You look at the poster, you remember for a few days that face and what they were accused of.
There's another MMO in development -right now- doing just this, called Salem. No one has floaty names, you have to learn to identify people by what they wear and how they act and trust that when someone says their name is Fuddywuffer Binglebang, that it's -really- their name.
Every character should have a Knoweldge: Local skill that gets tagged every time they 'inspect' another character, PC or NPC, and the fame/reputation of that character gets tagged on them.
Right click random stranger: inspect
Right click random stranger: inspect
There's zero a thief can do in defeating magical detections, but for mundane skill vs. skill...
When Robbing A House: Stealth vs (Local/Settlement Spot Value)
These values can be buffed by additional guards, guard training (buildings/upgrades), wide-range magical effects (hallow + skill-buff/owl's wisdom), and local lighting and other administrator decisions/projects/programs.
The difference between the Thief Trained Skill and the L/SSV should be the starting point with how many interactions are required and how difficult the skill checks are to get the poster 'accurate', IE: working.
This is a great game for having Knowledge: Local be a serious, need-to-train skill for investigators, and a way to give people who want to PLAY investigators an actual niche to fill.
'Hire a thief to catch a thief'.
We know stealing and looting is going to be in the game, but what do you do when you want to catch your antagonist?
Well... that's downright -simple-. This is DnD, so, as always, 'A Wizard Did It'.
Create 'clues' in a robbed house or establishment, or -right in- the player inventory, and allow any number of skills/magic powerz to affect that clue. Legend Lore should reveal the thief, as should Commune, as should sufficient Gather Info/Diplomacy in a 'warm/cold' style of investigation.
EXAMPLE: You walk along and your bandoleer potion-slot goes suddenly empty, replaced with a little golden 'ticket' that needs investigation skills. You notice, and turn instantly around to discover that the thief has already disappeared into an alleyway. You give chase. You lose the suspected thief somewhere in the alleyways of the Empyreal City. You examine the ticket. The clue opens a little navigation/compass/wayfinder on your HUD that leads you to the place where you were robbed, and a parchment scroll with an outline of a head on it. Talking to ANY NPC in the area allows you to fill out the clue, bit by bit, until all the little edges and details of the wanted poster are filled in. You may then pay gold to a settlement to make reproductions of that poster and you may post them in approved locations. ANYONE who clicks on that poster gets a lore/check to see if they recognize the individual thief created on the poster. If they do, that thief is flagged as red/hostile/aggro to them for 5x INT hours. Attacking that thief is worth a reward from the city/bounty from the aggrieved party.
These same clues could be left behind if your house is robbed, but they last much longer.
Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?
I think that everyone should be able to have an anonymous character -except- for Scott.
"Random Stranger: Hey, thanks, now I have your log-in details and you can't stop me! HAH HAH SUCKER! I EAT STUPID GIRLS LIKE YOU FOR BREAKFAST AND YOUR MOTHER IS ALSO FAT!"
I mouse over: 'random stranger' in my interface and get 'Client #10110110101001010111'. I click his name and report him for being a scammer and a D-bag. The Staff is then able to trace this account. Unless people copy down the 20 digit randomly assigned number and check them against every person they play with, (or have a freakishly good memory for long strings of numbers... or someone gets the Fibanachi Sequence as their player ID#) people still can't instantly identify you.
Wanna get even more creative? Reassign 20 digit numbers at the start of each game day. If you're scammed/harassed by binary-man as above, AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, they can always look back to the previous day's assignments. 10,000,000 players can each log in THOUSANDS of times with this data-tracker. The server should easily be able to handle a number-tracker sheet in tandem with everything else that allows storage of those numbers for as long as Staff feels is appropriate.