Skill Stunts and Epic Skill Stunts VI – Making Stuff

Outside of niche builds and oddball prerequisites Crafting-type Skills are generally regarded as background flavor. Given that “making stuff” and “passing on information” are pretty much the defining traits of a social sapient tool user, the fact that both are pretty much glossed over in most games is really a bit disappointing – but then they’re such fundamental elements of human life that no one really thinks about them very much.

After all, except for a few games that are set in the old stone age, RPG’s generally assume that the characters know a great deal and have access to all kinds of neat stuff. That’s usually a big part of the point; the characters get a variety of abilities, attributes, and wonderful toys that the players don’t get to have in the real world. They’re involved with exciting, important, and utterly fantastic missions, and are at the center of great events – which people who have time to play RPG’s generally aren’t. So high-end crafting isn’t going to be quite as game-changing as some of the other high-end skills simply because skilled crafters are already a basic part of pretty much every functional civilization. The player characters are normally assumed to have access to plenty of them even without specifically developing such skills themselves.

Still, that same “common background” effect means that Craft has quite a lot of obvious skill stunt options. They are, however, always restricted to within the source skills purview – a weavers stunts will all be related to thread, cloth, or clothing, a metalworkers stunts will be related to flame and metal, and so on.

Personally, for any would-be mastercrafter wanting to use these stunts… I’d recommend taking the basic Bokor package too, possibly specializing in just a few Mysteries – such as Naberius, Haagenti, Ruh Göbekli-Tepe, and Halphax – to be able to acquire bonus skills and inherent tools, instant alchemy and a steady income, extra gear, and a settlement of your own that you can carry around – all of which are pretty major aides to a crafter.

Sample Stunts for Craft (Various)/Forgery/Sculpting/Engineer/Architect/Profession/Baker, and any other skill that is primarily concerned with making something.

  • DC 10 (normally no stunt required):
    • Apprentice: You may gain access to a well-equipped shop, small quantities of raw materials, and near-total anonymity in exchange for about twenty-four hours of work per week.
    • Jargon: You may spout confusing and/or boring verbiage that demonstrates that you are, in fact, an expert in your field. The higher the check, the more you can impress others with your expertise, your dedication to your craft, and your general lack of social and deceptive skills – since whether or not that is actually true this certainly makes it seem like you are entirely unaware of the lack of both comprehension and interest in those about you.
    • Makers Mark: You may inscribe a unique sigil, symbol, or other identifying mark upon an item you create. It cannot be removed without destroying the item and is always unique to the creator.
    • Mock-Up: You may, in only 1% of the time that it would take to actually carry out a project, throw together a “demonstration” that shows how it is supposed to look or work when finished – without, of course, said mockup actually being in any way functional. It is important to note that being able to create a mock-up in no way guarantees that the actual project will work, even if you can get it funded and built.
  • DC 15 (May or may not require a stunt):
    • Evaluation: You may evaluate the worth of materials or (at +10 DC) finished items that fall within your purview. This extends past a simple gold piece value however: a smith might evaluate the quality of coal, the impurities in metal, and how well suited various metals are for a given purpose.
    • Personalize Tools: After one month of working with a given set of tools they can be considered as Masterwork – albeit only in your hands.
    • Photographic Quality: You may produce a model or representation of a subject good enough to allow easy recognition of, and training about, the original.
    • Refurbish: You can make items within your purview seem brand new – or near-perfectly restored if they’re antiques or some such – and ready for use or resale.
  • DC 20:
    • Ab Initio: You may make your own tools from scratch. After one week you will have effective tools, after a month you will have a masterwork tools, after a season you will have a shop, and after a year you will have a full facility.
    • Activate Charm: You may activate a Charm (see The Practical Enchanter) of a type that falls within your purview for the remainder of the day. Sadly, you may not so activate more than (Charisma) Charms.
    • Craft Conjure I: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level – although at this is limited to simple items, such as swords, barriers, ladders, coils of rope, or a minor construct (As per an Unseen Servant with the Unseen Supervisor upgrade, see The Practical Enchanter)) which acts as a personal aide and secretary.
    • Scale Model: You may build a model of a larger device, structure, or project that compensates for the smaller scale well enough to reveal any flaws that would become apparent in the full-sized version – and to allow the effective testing of prospective methods of attack, repair, and sabotage.
  • DC 25:
    • Activate Talisman: You may activate a Talisman (see The Practical Enchanter) of a type that falls within your purview for the remainder of the day. Sadly, you may not so activate more than (Cha Mod) Talismans.
    • Determine Provenance: You may identify an item within the purview of your craft and determine its origin. You can usually tell who made it. If it bears a Makers Mark (above) you may determine who made it, at what point in their career, and why it was made – a commission for a noble, to get revenge, or whatever.
    • Panoply Of Mastery: Your tools are as much a part of you as your hands, and so you are never without them (although you must pay for them normally). Once you activate this ability, for the next full day everything you need to exercise your skill will be ready to hand – even if you have been stripped and locked in a cell you may continue working.
    • The Recondite Craft: You may craft an item that focuses and channels the user’s power. Such items are unique to each user and may be activated for a day by expending 2 Mana (from any source). Such items produce effects equivalent to those of three Magic Tattoos (as per the Create Magic Tattoo spell) with minimum caster levels of the user’s level or less.
  • DC 30:
    • Craft Conjure II: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level. At this level you are capable of creating moderately complex items or small animals, such as cats, pigeons, crossbows, carts, and suits of armor.
    • Find Patron: You can support yourself at an Average lifestyle for a week with a day of work. Not surprisingly, you need only activate this ability once per week.
    • Intuit Function: You may figure out how to use any item within your purview, with the effect lasting for a full day and freely renewable. Thus, if you know how to use a hand forge, you can also work effectively with a computer-operated mass-production metalworking plant. If you know how to make and drive boats, you may also pilot a plane or spaceship.
    • Life Model: You may produce a model of something so detailed and precise that it creates a magical link with the original, displaying the originals condition. At DC 40 you craft a pair of items so identical that they are effectively one, allowing changes in one to be reflected in the other – such as linked slates that will each display what is written on the other. At DC 50 the link can transmit other energies, allowing the creation of perpetual boilers (containing a lump of tough material linked to a lump that’s been dumped into a volcano), Charms and Talismans tied into various power sources to provide nigh-unlimited use of a few minor effects (at least as long as they’re activated), or simply creating a pair of “walkie talkies” that transmit sound between them. At DC 75 you may craft a representation of a living creature so exact that it can serve as a Sympathetic Link (as per Witchcraft/Sympathetic Link in Eclipse). At DC 100 you may craft a representation of a living that is even more true than the original – so that the original will tend to reflect the condition of the copy. This grants the original +2/- DR, scarless healing, immunity to aging (although this does not extend their maximum lifespan), and a +4 Circumstance Bonus on all his or her Saving Throws.
  • DC 35:
    • Imbuement: You may duplicate the Imbuement Eclpse ability for an item in your purview for ten minutes. You may upgrade with one modifier (Focused, or Improved and then Superior) at DC 50, two at DC 75, and all three at DC 100. Sadly, this is limited to simple enhancement bonuses and “counts-as-a-plus-or-pluses” functions; you cannot add temporary intelligence or similar functions.
    • Master of Industry: You may organize the efforts of up to (Check Result / 2) assistants. As long as they have at least basic (+2 or more) skills in your craft you may multiply how much work you get done each day by the number of assistants present.
    • Restore Function: You may get a broken item functioning for the next 1d4 minutes in combat or 1d4 hours out of combat. Thus a shipwright might keep a ship from sinking, a woodcarver could get a broken staff to function, and a swordsmith could use a sundered sword to full effect.
    • Spellwright: You may craft an item that effectively functions as a scroll, provided that you have the spell to be imbued in it available. If you do not have the spell available you may fake it, but this increases the DC by (10 x the spell level or 5 if level 0) and you cannot use this method to create an item with a caster level higher than your level or with spell effect of more than one half your level or level ten, whichever is less. Spellwrought items cannot be deciphered to produce spell formula.
  • DC 40:
    • As Above, So Below: You may observe the stochastic effects of disturbances in the universe on your projects, allowing you to employ your skill as if it was Gather Information at -40 – however there is no chance of alerting anyone to your interest, no action other than a few hours working is required, and mundane methods of concealment will have no effect against you.
    • Craft Conjure III: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level. At this level you are capable of creating larger items, such as rowboats, watch dogs, large tents, or competent laborers.
    • Intuitive Repair: You can fix things that fall within your craft; if that spacecraft engine needs a new part and it happens to be made of some ultra-tech ceramic doped to conduct positrons in intricate internal patterns with a tolerance og 1/10,000 of an inch… then you can go right ahead with your neolithic potters tools and make a new part – although this is more often used to repair magical items. (In Pathfinder this roughly equates to Greater Make Whole).
    • Superior Workmanship: If you invoke this ability while making something it will gain a +2 alchemical bonus to it’s Hardness and double it’s base hit points. At DC 60 it gains a +4 and triple it’s normal hit points, and at DC 100 it gains a +6 and quadruple its normal hit points. For most practical purposes it can be considered unbreakable.
  • DC 50:
    • Craft Conjure IV: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level. At this level you are capable of creating a small house or yacht, a warhorse, several basic servants, or a small golem (equivalent to a large earth elemental).
    • Magewright: You no longer need any Item Crafting feats or spellcasting ability to craft items that fall under the purview of your skill. You may not, however, craft an item that has a caster level equal to or greater than your level.
    • Spirit Anchor: You may craft an item that can host a spirit, make being so contained a pleasant experience for said spirit, and make it (more or less) willing to assist the items owner. Thus a portrait may host the spirit of a dying man, a sword might host a djinn, or a statue host a demon. Such entities can use whatever powers they possess, communicate, and show “faces”,, but cannot fully animate their host forms without further magic.
    • Wealthy Patron: You can support yourself at a Wealthy lifestyle for a month with a mere three days of work. Not surprisingly, you need only activate this ability once per month.
  • DC 60:
    • Alchemic Craft: You may give a project the qualities of being made out of a special material and/or having an appropriate item template at no cost. This is not necessarily limited to published materials and templates, but the player will have to run exotic proposals by his or her GM for approval or modification first.
    • Craft Conjure V: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level. At this level you are capable of creating a competent bodyguard, a huge animal or a small animal with minor special abilities, a large house and staff, a large boat, or a massive golem (equivalent to a huge earth elemental).
    • Masters Word: You may employ an Animate Object (Pathfinder Version) effect on objects that fall within your purview. For every +5 on the check result over 60 your animated objects gain +1 Construction Point to a maximum of +8.
    • Platonic Smith: You may imbue items you create with thoughts which will influence those who spend time in contact with those items – a subtle, but pervasive effect, capable of becoming an obsession over months or years. You could attach dreams of glory to a blade, sadness to a memorial statue, an aura of truth to a novel, the secret of summoning some elder horror to a painting, or convey many other beliefs and feelings.
  • DC 75:
    • Automation: Provided that you are working in an appropriate facility, your work will proceed at twenty times the usual rate – even directly multiplying your results from Master Of Industry.
    • Craft Conjure VI: You may transform a (tiny) model you’ve crafted into a temporary real item for ten minutes per level. At this level you are capable of creating a squad of decent fighters, a palace and staff, an expert in a particular field, a decent copy of a particular individual, an enormous animal, or a sizable animal with modest special abilities. If you choose to go for a Golem, it’s roughly equivalent to a Greater Earth Elemental.
    • Shadowcraft: You may draw your “materials” for a project from the Plane of Shadow – negating all materials requirements and reducing the crafting time to a mere one-tenth of whatever the normal total after other modifiers would be – but the items created are only temporarily real (although they are 100% real for the duration);. They will fade back into shadow after three times the time needed to create them or 1d4 days, whichever is greater. .
    • Wunderkind: You are known as a creator of marvels that would grace the court of any emperor or even a minor god. You may gain entrance to the courts of nobles, the councils of kings, and similar locales on the basis of your reputation and may often find backing for projects that – if any lesser crafter had proposed them – would seem ludicrous.
  • DC 100:
    • Be Prepared: Within your purview you may produce an item, or perform labors, worth up to 10,000 GP as a standard action. This will, however, cost you 25% of that amount in Gold Pieces (or other valuables, although only their sale prices count) OR 5% of that amount in Experience. The effects of this ability are real and permanent. If you should happen to be a Mason or some such, I’d recommend looking up the costs of tunnels, stone walls, and similar. You may not, however, employ an item or resource created by this ability to pay for using this ability again.
    • Craft Construct: You may create and maintain an array of Constructs that fit within your purview with a total value equal to one-half your normal wealth by level at no actual cost – although if any are destroyed (or you wish to discard and replace some) it will require one day per 1000 GP value to replace them if you do so in your spare time or 5000 GP value per day you spend working on the project.
    • Shadows In The Firelight: While the items produced will only last for a day, you may employ your skill without need of raw materials or tools, producing one months worth of material per round for as long as you continue to concentrate, are free to gesture, and have a source of light.
    • The Tech Fantastic: You may build items within your purview from d20 Modern and Future in fantasy settings, using the usual conversion of 1 GP = 20 Credits.

Epic Stunts:

These are a bit tricky for Craft, since the epic stunts for Craft (Carpentry) and Craft (Sculpture) are unlikely to look all that much alike – but some effects are fairly common.

  • Art Of Battle (Research Level 9, DC 46): As per Greater Magic Weapon, but affects up to fifty targets per caster level within medium range. Variants, of course, abound: a Tailor might imbue every targets clothing with a Resistance Bonus to saves, an Armorsmith might grant a +4 Circumstance (Exoskeleton) bonus to Strength, and so on.
  • Vessel Of The Will (Research Level 10, DC 50): As per Ship Of Shadow, Eclipse.
  • Conjure Construct(s) (Research Level 11, DC 54): You may summon a single construct of up to CR 15 or 1d4+1 constructs of up to CR 13, although your choices must be consistent with your purview. The constructs will remain for up to ten minutes per caster level unless destroyed first.
  • Harvest (Research Level 12, DC 58): You may gather natural resources related to your purview from extreme range – in refined and processed form. You may harvest rare woods, extract metals from ore or veins, pull gems or crystals from the earth, pull perfume from flowers, quarry useful stone, or extract other resources. Sadly, this only works on unrefined and unclaimed or loosely-claimed resources; a wild jungle that is loosely claimed by an absentee landlord is fair game; a cultivated or mined area is not. In general, this will get you up to 5000 GP worth of raw materials. After all, if you are tossing around epic stunts and are still scrambling for gold pieces, something is very, very, wrong.
  • Guardian Ward (Research Level 13, DC 62): Grants the Armor and Shields of up to fifty targets per caster level within medium range a total of +5 in bonuses – which may include special functions – for one hour per caster level. As with the Art Of Battle effect, variations abound.
  • Catalytic Alchemy (Research Level 14, DC 66): You may quadruple the effect of an alchemical item or holy/unholy water and selectively apply that quadrupled affect to any and all targets within extreme (twice long) range. There are many variants on this effect; a tailor could change rages so as to clothe everyone with marvelous clothing, a weaponsmith strike at hundreds of targets at once, and so on.
  • Door Of Worlds (Research Level 15, DC 70): You may create a depiction of a place so realistic that it serves as a gate to travel to, and return from, that location.
  • Grand Art Of War (Research Level 16, DC 74): Grants the Weapons, Armor, and Shields of up to 50 targets per caster level within long range a total of +6 in bonuses – which may include special functions – for one hour per caster level.
  • Technobabble (Research Level 17, DC 78): You may quickly rig up a way to accomplish something utterly unreasonable. Go ahead; weave a set of Etheresails that will place your ship in an achronal warp and let you fly out of that black hole. Use carpentry to throw a steady bridge across a quarter-mile chasm. Rig up Dr Frankenstein’s setup to resurrect your dead companion. Basically… this is roughly equivalent to a Wish or Miracle, but it has no particular cost and can affect larger areas for a longer period of time. Sadly, using this power too often will soon start to draw backlash from the universe for your abuse of its nature.
  • Ship Slaying Shot (Research Level 18, DC 82): You may destroy any one construct, vehicle, or structure with a single shot from any convenient weapon.
  • Fundamental Breakdown (Research Level 19, DC 86): You learn everything you wish to know about how the target object, vehicle, or structure within your purview, was made, what it’s made of, its specifications, layout, security features, vulnerable points, and method of destruction. This works even on artifacts.
  • Mastery Of The Spirit Binding Arts (Research Level 20, DC 90): Whenever you kill something with a soul but of less than divine status with something you created you may opt to employ this spell to bind it’s spirit to the item. Thereafter you may call it forth as it was in life, either sending it on a single mission lasting up to twenty-four hours or calling on it for up to three services lasting up to ten minutes each. Unfortunately, no more than seven spirits may be bound to the user at any one time.
  • Resplendent Panoply (Research Level 21, DC 94): The target effectively gains three levels as far as Wealth By Level goes for the next twenty-four hours – and immediately reaps the benefits. His or her items will be effectively upgraded or augmented with new items to suit, although no more than 25,000 GP worth of the temporary items can be limited-use or charged items. In addition, for the duration, the user will look REALLY good.

Various variations of the fourteenth level Construction spell from Eclipse also fit in here. Sadly, however, as usual for Epic Craft Stunts, it can only be used to create things within the governing skills purview. Still, some of the greatest crafters have been known to produce entire cities, fleets, and other mighty or grandiose works on a moments notice.

All right; you aren’t likely to annihilate hordes of enemies with your crafting skills directly – at least until you’ve got it boosted so high that it bypasses all reason – but they can certainly make doing that, and accomplishing a wide variety of other tasks (including living very comfortably indeed) quite a lot easier.

2 Responses

  1. […] Part VI: Making Stuff. Craft (Various), Forgery, Sculpting, Engineer, Architect, Profession/Baker, and any ot…. […]

  2. […] Part VI: Making Stuff. Craft (Various), Forgery, Sculpting, Engineer, Architect, Profession/Baker, and any ot…. […]

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