|Purplefixer Goblin Squad Member|
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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:
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.