Eclipse d20 – Craftsman Of Azeroth, Steel Driving Style, Fairy Sail Style, and Whips In D20 / Nemesis Scourge Style

And for today, it’s a few more exotic Martial Arts styles.

Craftsman Of Azeroth Style (A.K.A. “Azeroth Engineering”)

Spellcasters produce magical items through mystical disciplines, combining their own energies with their raw materials to create items of various categories. That method is fast and potent, yielding results in the time-frames that adventurers commonly demand and offering precise control of the results. Rune Forges produce items through brute magical force. Those using Dream-Binding, Legendarium, Glowstone Alchemy, or Gadgetry can producesome items through their own exotic procedures. Heroes, Villains, and Gods sometimes spawn relics in the course of their adventures and confrontations. In some settings there are even move ways. For example, in Ailewelia, items can be “farmed”. The physical form is primed with minor magics, placed in rune-inscribed box to draw and pattern the wild magic of the world, and simply left (most often buried) deep in the mystical wilderness for a few years to “ripen”. Sure, the process often runs wild (especially if something gets forgotten or conditions shift; the process does use WILD magic after all) – but the rate of return is more than enough to keep basic magical items common.

There are a lot of ways to make magical items.

Magical items can also be made by skilled craftsmen – but that takes more time than most crafters are willing to invest. Does a weaponsmith wish to forge a mystical blade? At Skill 10… crafting a magical sword worth 10,000 GP will require approximately (Price In SP)/(Skill Result Squared) weeks of work. That’s 250 weeks for “taking 10” – just a bit under five years. That isn’t very practical – unless, of course, you have either immense skill or have Taskmaster and/or other high-powered work multipliers. On the other hand, it DOES bypass all those pesky special requirements; all you need is the price of your raw materials (one-third the final price of the item being made), basic tools, and lots and lots of patience.

Azerathian Engineering could be built as an Occult Skill – but given that I don’t actually play WOW in this case I’m going to stick with more or less standard Eclipse mechanics rather than trying to write something up to more closely approximate a set of rules that I don’t know. Sure, given the focus on crafting instead of fighting this counts as a variant form of “martial arts” – but Eclipse specifically allows variants.

Craftsman Of Azeroth (Str)

  • Requires: Taskmaster and Hands Of The Dragon. That’s just about the best long-term speed multiplier for crafting in the system, and is pretty much required to get any worthwhile results out of crafting items this way.
  • Basic Abilities: Synergy IV (For any three Craft Skills and Spellcraft), Toughness I (protects the user from minor accidents and crafting-related injuries), Strike (the user’s hands serve as effective tools), and Power I (if the user’s hands already count as tools (for whatever reason) they now count as masterwork tools).
  • Advanced And Master Techniques:
    • Immunity (the normal limits of crafting techniques with craft skills that this style is providing a synergy bonus for. The user may craft magical items using the normal crafting procedures. Uncommon, Major, Major, 6 CP). I don’t think that this is needed, but if your game master feels otherwise, here it is.
    • Occult Sense (resources for crafting). Azerothian Craftsmen can often find magical ingredients which will cover a large part of the costs of their crafting. Sadly, what resources can be found, and what they can be used to pay for making, is up to the game master.
    • Use of Charms and Talismans (QV): An Azerothian Craftsman may use seven Charms and three Talismans while using this style. An Industrious Tool is almost mandatory.
    • Occult Sense/Appraisal. The user may accurately evaluate the function and value of any item covered by his craft skills.
    • Augmented Bonus / Add (Con Mod) to the user’s Craft Skill Totals. An Azerothian Craftsman works long hours to get more work done. Take this one if the Immunity to the normal limits of crafting is not required.
  • Occult Abilities: Inner Strength II, Healing Hand, and Ki Focus (Strength). Crafting is hard and dangerous work, calling for occasional mighty efforts and the patching up of various minor injuries.

In game terms this is a lot like Alchemy; you can pick up ingredients (covering a chunk of your raw materials cost) when the GM is feeling generous, you can do something that is arguably within what the craft skill should already be able to do (after all, it does not say you can’t use a superhuman skill in a magical world to craft magic. How many real-world smiths put runes on blades? How many real-world wielders named their weapons and felt that that helped somehow?). And, of course, why WOULDN’T a craftsman be able to evaluate the value of items within his or her field?

Overall, this is potentially quite useful – like anything else that you might reasonably spend character-building resources on – but it shouldn’t disrupt the game much if at all.

Steel Driving Style (Str)

The village smith is the classic example – but many craftsmen and laborers know the secret; once you’re used to spending much of a workday wielding some heavy implement with speed and precision… it’s not much of a step to using said implement to turn some luckless opponent into a bloody pulp.

And it doesn’t much matter if said implement is a hammer, a butchers knife, an agricultural flail, a pruning-hook, a shovel, a machete, or a scythe. There is a reason why so many weapons are either repurposed tools or derived from tools. A healthy, well-exercised, angry man wielding a dangerous implement with a decade of practice in using it is bad news.

While this is a weapon style, it isn’t associated with any particular weapon; it can simply be taken for any appropriate tool – presumably one that the user has spent years wielding working in some craft or profession.

  • Requires: At least +1 BAB specialized in Melee Combat, a Craft Skill total of 5+, and Proficiency with Simple Weapons.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Power 4, Strike, Synergy (a Craft skill that uses the implement in question).
  • Advanced And Master Techniques: Crippling, Mighty Blow, Weapon Kata II (up to two additional tools/weapons).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength II, Ki Focus (Strength), and Resist Pain.

This isn’t a particularly exotic style – but it offer an unusually broad selection of basic abilities. If someone wants to build an “everyman” character who wields common tools as weapons, this should help.

Fairy Sail Style (Dex):

Combat Piloting is relatively rare in most d20 games, and if you want to be really, REALLY, good at it you will want the Rider ability sequence – which can drastically upgrade your vehicle. For those who just wish to dabble, however, here is the Fairy Sale style.

Requires: Command of a vehicle (The Fairy Sale, Apparatus, etc). This style is inherently Specialized for Increased Effect (applies to the vehicle the user is operating -and ONLY to the vehicle the user is operating).

Basic Abilities: Attack III (Vehicle Weapons), Defenses III (Vehicle AC). Synergy (Whatever skill is used for piloting).

Advanced And Master Techniques: Instant Maneuver (Once per round you may maneuver the vehicle as a free action), Combat Reflexes (you may fire vehicular close-range anti-personnel weapons up to (Dex Mod) times each round, although each such use uses up one of your Attacks of Opprotunity), Combat Piloting I and II (May use a Piloting check as AC versus one / up to five attacks each round).

Occult Techniques: Inner Strength II, Light Foot (“We Need More Speed!” “More Sail!”, “Gun The Engine!”), and either Ki Block (“All Power To Shields”, “Evasive Maneuvers”, or whatever) or Healing Hand, Specialized / only for use on the ship (“Re-rout The Power!”, “Splice The Mast”, “Get A Sail Over That Leak!” , allowing the user to perform or organize emergency repairs even while under fire).

The Fairy Sail Style really is absurd – but it’s also both literary and cinematic. Odysseus, Horatio Hornblower, Nemo, Hans Solo, Jack Sparrow… Legends, tales, novels, and movies are full of commanders who – despite lacking the overt supernatural talents of the Rider ability sequence – somehow manage to coax more speed and firepower out of their ships than is reasonably possible. If you really must take your dirigible out dog-fighting dragons, or sail your frigate through a blockade, then this is the style for you.

Whips as d20 weapons:

Whips represent a design problem; In game terms, they’re fairly ineffective. After all, in reality, people can generally survive a LOT more strikes with a whip than they can, say, hits with an axe – and even fairly light armor or tough hide makes whips pretty ineffectual. That’s why they’re usually (despite Indiana Jones) used as tools, not serious weapons. On the other hand, they offer lots of range – so if you stack the right enchantments on them, or target unarmored spellcasters you can be quite a pain. The classical d20 “solution” is to make them Exotic Weapons – which also contradicts reality. Whips are commonly used for animal handling and are fairly easy to learn to use. I got to play with one as a kid because my father bought one (along with some snowshoes and other bits and pieces we really had no earthly use for) for some reason, but I soon got bored.

So let us be more occult. Almost uniquely among d20 weapons, d20 whips are commonly made of monster hide. But leather gloves or armor do nothing to stop the user from making touch attacks with magical spells. How about if we assume leather from magical monsters -at least if properly alchemically treated – conducts magic? That will give whips a unique niche beyond just “having lots of reach”. However, instead of writing up new rules and a unique weapon, I think I will just model a whip as a martial art using chain, rope, wire, or some other suitable item. I’ll make it an “unarmed” style because such things – including realistic whips – simply are not particularly effective weapons. On the other hand, that offers it’s user’s the option to deliver touch-based effects with their whip. To use it to effectively grab things or push buttons, and to make touch attacks with it if they’re willing to forgo inflicting weapon damage with it.

This also eliminates the “Provoking AoO” angle, allows you to do damage normally, and lets you threaten the area through which you can attack That pretty much fixes the various problems with the basic whip, even if it does mean that you will have to invest a fair number of skill points to fully master it. This gives us the…

Nemesis Scourge Style (Dex)

Using a whip is not hard. Apprentice drovers, animal handlers, and torturers can pick up the knack quite quickly – although learning to judge the best use of one and improving their aim requires a but of practice.

Using a whip in combat – at least as something more than an annoyance and a distraction – is a good deal harder. For that, we have the following martial art…

Requires: A whip (enchantments optional) – preferably a leather bullwhip made of hide from a magical monster – despite being built as an “Unarmed Style”. As this is technically an unarmed style, said while it can be used to make touch attacks – but not to inflict non-magical touch based damage.

Basic Abilities: Strike, Power I, Attack III, Toughness I, Synergy / Intimidate, and Synergy / Handle Animal,

Advanced and Master Techniques: Lunge x 3 (while I’d be quite dubious about this in most styles, it’s certainly appropriate for this one), and Evasive (May attempt Disarm and Trip maneuvers without provoking AoO).

Occult Abilities: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Light Foot, and Touch Strike.

Practical use of a whip as a tool requires nothing much in game terms. Practical use of a whip in combat will generally call for Strike and at least two levels of Lunge – requiring a skill total of 9 or more. That’s not actually very hard to reach; even without any kind of boosters you can have a skill total of (4 + Dex Mod) at level one. To make it really effective though will require a fair investment in touch-based effects.

14 Responses

  1. With regards to making magic items with mundane crafting, the big draw to me seems to be bypassing xp costs and getting access to all spells. Also, I’m not sure where using the check result squared instead of the result times the DC comes from. Regardless, doing some math, it would cost a touch under 10k to craft a Wish scroll, and with Taskmaster, an Industrious Tool, and a Craft check of 42 you could craft it in a week and immediately use it to get an item worth 25k. And you could afford to do this at level 6. Seems pretty good.

    Also, it does say that you can’t craft magic just through skill in the description for creating magic items.
    “Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item’s creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed).”
    Even if you find some loophole in the wording there, while I’m generally pretty pro-RAW, something that goes that much against RAI would make me uncomfortable.
    Furthermore, as The Practical Enchanter sorta alludes to, there’s got to be more to creating a magic item than carving some runes on it, because that wouldn’t require several thousand gp of raw materials.

    The whip stuff seems nice for a caster specializing in touch spells or for a spiked chain fighter (assuming that spiked chains are sufficiently whip-like). That being said, I’m not sure how good spiked chains are in Eclipse, unless you can emulate Imprived Trip somehow (presumably through Opportunist or Reflex Training or something).

  2. I should have clarified that I was assuming an INT of 10, to make the math nice. Also, I realized that I did that math wrong, and you would actually need a Craft check of 46 or so, but then I realized that I did that math wrong because time multipliers multiply, so with Taskmaster and an Industrious Tool you’re going 30x faster, so you only need a Craft check of 18 to craft a Wish scroll in a week. Also, I forgot about the 50% discount if it only works for you, so there’s that. There’s also the possibility of making it cheaper by increasing the casting time and various other things, and potentially even buying off the xp cost, but I don’t think any GM would allow this even without any of that.

    • Bypassing XP costs and getting access to all spells isn’t much of a trick – for example, the Warlock, Factotum, and Artificer (among many other standard classes) can bypass a wide variety of requirements. Pathfinder even simply codifies that as modifiers to the Spellcraft DC, with most of the players I’ve encountered arguing that Caster Level is just another entry to bypass. Freeform spellcasting is not all that hard to come by either. Just as importantly, variant and unique items may have entirely different requirements since that’s the province of the item designer. But, as will be shown below, none of that actually makes any difference.

      Using the (Check Result) squared in the formula is an approximation; the basic Craft rules allow raising the DC in increments of 5 to accelerate your work while multiplying that by the check result. Including that considerably complicates the formula with little increase in accuracy – which is of no benefit in a general discussion.

      Now, unfortunately, the rules for adding multipliers in d20 would give the combination of Int 10, Taskmaster, and an Industrious Tool a x12 multiplier, not x30. There are exceptions to the general rules of course, but they need to be specifically noted.

      So let us say that you want to turn out Iron Bars – a trade good which can be exchanged at full value, without being subject to the half-price sales rule.

      Take your DC at 40, Check 42, that puts the value of your efforts at 168 GP per week (the quick formula would be off by 5%). With Taskmaster at Int 10 and an Industrious Tool that’s just a bit over 2000 GP per week. (There are SRD ways to stack that absurdly higher actually, as shown in the old “Underwater Basketweaving” discussion).

      So reaching a value total of 28,825 GP would require 9608.33 GP worth of raw materials and – since rolls are made at the end of each week = fifteen weeks of full-time work.

      Low and behold, if you are busy turning out Iron… you can simply trade it for your desired scroll of Wish. You can do that with Equipage (Purchasing), a Privilege, a relevant Contact, or just by visiting a large city – which is likely where you are working anyway.

      The math is exactly the same whether you are making basic Trade Goods or crafting magical items. Either way… you are basically trading in fifteen weeks of adventuring time for 19,216.67 GP (minus the cost of your lifestyle and running your workshop for fifteen weeks, possibly plus taxes). That’s rarely a good deal at the levels where you are likely to be ABLE to take 42 on crafting rolls, but you can if you want too.

      That means that the only effect on the actual game of allowing this is… special effects. You could be a smith, and simply pay for your items in trade goods, or you can make them as a wise and mystical crafter of items using your amazing superhuman skills. Which one sounds like more fun?

      Now there will be a Character Point cost associated with getting the special abilities that you’d need to reliably achieve a 42 on your Crafting checks in each of the crafting skills you want to use plus either the Azeroth Engineering martial or the various necessary components – but while the cost of buying spellcasting and item creation feats is higher, the spellcasting is useful in a lot more ways.

      Emulating Improved Trip (and a variety of other maneuvers) is under Combat Enhancements (the “Evasive” ability). I must admit that, in Eclipse, how good a character is with a weapon depends a lot more on what supplemental abilities they buy to use it with than on the base properties of the weapon.

      Now, as for the “only works for you” and similar discounts… Those have no effect on the comparison since such modifiers affect most methods of making things equally. Secondarily applying “personal only” to a temporary item will not work, since it will not actually limit it in any way. After all, “This item, which I am now going to use and use up, will only work for me!” “Isn’t that already inherent in using it up?”.

      As for searching for system loopholes… yes; if they weren’t there you couldn’t use the rules to replicate things like the classical “infinite wish combo”. As I keep pointing out, that is a feature of the system. If that sort of thing wasn’t possible, I couldn’t claim that Eclipse covers everything you can do with other sourcebooks. Thus, just as with basic d20 rules… it is up to the GM to say “no” to that kind of abuse.

  3. Yeah, I kinda went overboard with the overly-elaborate infinite wealth shenanigans. There are much easier ways to get infinite wealth, and that wasn’t really the point. So, I’ll try to stay on topic this time:

    First of all, not needing to spend xp was my main point, more so than the spell list thing, which I just threw in because it might matter sometimes. I don’t know about Pathfinder, but I’m not familiar with any way of removing the xp cost of creating magic items in 3.5 without a lot of setup involved.

    Also, from what I’ve seen, you need to increase the DC in increments of 10, not 5. Still, I get that it doesn’t make much of a difference. I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t actually using different rules.

    Regarding multipliers, “When applying multipliers to real-world values (such as weight or distance), normal rules of math apply instead.” Time is a real-world value (rather than an abstract one such as a modifier or die roll), and would therefore multiply normally. As I mentioned, I don’t really know Pathfinder, and a quick search of the PfSRD didn’t yield any explicit results, but if it doesn’t say anywhere that math doesn’t work like math, I think it’s reasonable to assume that multipliers multiply.

    Regardless, even if it was a 12x multiplier, it seems like you didn’t include it in your calculation with the iron bars. Admittedly, you got 15 weeks, and I got 12 weeks (before the multiplier), but close enough.

    The point that I was going to make, until I foolishly decided to use a Wish scroll for my math and got distracted, was that if I were a Wizard or some such and I wanted to craft items, I’d be able to do it more quickly, more cheaply, and at a lower level with Azeroth crafting than with the conventional method (assuming a similar number of CP invested). That’s why I was assuming that you could make a check of 42. (If you can cast 3rd-level spells and you have max ranks in Craft, Skill Mastery and Enchant Tools will get you most of the way there. You can also use Luck to take 20.)

    Sure, Equipage with Purchasing will let you spend triple the price of crafting an item to just buy it, which requires neither time nor money, but the fact that there’s an ability which is better than all forms of crafting doesn’t invalidate my point that this form of crafting is better than the other form of crafting.

    Evasive just prevents you from provoking an AoO, (unless I’m missing something) which you already don’t do if you’re tripping with a weapon. The main benefit of Improved Trip is the +4 bonus, and more importantly the free attack that you get. That’s what I was assuming you would need Opportunist or Relfex Training for.

    Regarding the discounts, I was just mentioning them to point out that just with WBL you could afford to craft a Wish scroll at a pretty low level. Also, an item usable once a month costs about three times as much as a scroll. I wasn’t really trying to figure out exactly how cheap you could get it, but if scrolls aren’t eligible for enough discounts, you might be better off with a permanent item.

    tl;dr Azeroth crafting seems better than normal magic item creation assuming comparable characters. I realize that much of this overlaps with crafting in general just being exploitable, and that Equipage is still better than all of this.

    • Actually, if you run a quick google search for “3.5 magic item crafting handbook” – or similar searches for Leadership or Thrallherd handbooks – you will find that XP cost has never really been much of a limitation. In fact, placing yourself a level or more the rest of the party gets your character move experience points then the rest of the party gets – a perpetual bonus which you can continue making ever-increasing piles of items with as the intervals between levels get ever wider.

      In general though, there are many different ways to get NPC’s to pay the XP cost of crafting magic items for you – including simply buying the items you want.

      That reduces the problem to making money.

      d20, of course, abandons simulationism entirely when it comes to money. Having made the dubious mechanical decision to make personal wealth a major element of a characters personal power, it became necessary to keep making special-purpose rulings to keep characters from making any substantial amount of money through any means other than adventuring – despite the blatant fact that, out in reality, there are lots of rich people and very few adventurers.

      That isn’t actually necessary unless you’re mostly using canned adventures as-is. After all, in a realistic setting… if the characters who are trying to stop the dark overlord from taking over take a few months off for crafting… the dark overlord is not going to sit still and politely wait! And neither will the rest of the world! The dark overlord will advance and take over cities – depriving the party of the contacts, allies, and resources those cities might have offered. He or she will probably get a few new lieutenants, and maybe level up a bit. Other adventurers may undertake the missions the crafters are leaving undone, reaping their rewards. Even worse, if only part of the party is interested in crafting… there is no reason why the characters who aren’t interested shouldn’t go adventuring while the crafters are busy. After all, that gets them items, money, experience, and other benefits, rather than just items.

      Meanwhile, the Crafters are sinking their Feats and Skill Points into crafting abilities, instead of into adventuring abilities – effectively putting them a level or so behind anyway.

      As long as actually adventuring is a quicker way to get money than staying home and crafting is – accounting for the opportunity cost of buying those crafting abilities versus buying adventuring abilities – then staying home and crafting will not be am attractive plan.

      As for multipliers, the quantity being multiplied is not time. It is (Craft Check Result x Task DC) yielding a game value of virtual silver pieces which acts as a measurement of how much progress you have made towards a more or less abstract goal. That is entirely a game value, and is in no way a “real world value”. If it was a real-world value, it could be expressed in some combination of basic physical units and people would have a way to measure productivity across different jobs and cultures. No such method exists.

      Worse, d20 has fixed prices – rather than prices that shift with supply and demand, the technological basis of the area, and resource abundance. The time and skill needed to craft items either varies depending on local prices or is fixed by whatever powers are running the world.

      Math does indeed work like math of course – but different mathematical systems have different rules, and in this case the SRD has specified one. Fortunately, it is only a minor variation on basic arithmetic, instead of – say – involving set theory.

      And the multiplier is indeed included; it is, however, less noticeable: since the value derived from the basic check is in virtual silver pieces, that value is divided by ten to convert it to gold pieces – which doesn’t quite cancel out the x12 multiplier, but does come fairly close. Fifteen weeks – not quite four months – is the correct value.

      An expert make of scrolls, on the other hand, has a base rate of 1000 GP per day – or 7000 GP per week – and can use a variety of feats to drastically increase that. Given a similar investment of character design resources, they could well be done in a week at a minor XP cost (if any) – which would give them fourteen weeks to go and adventure while the Azeroth Crafter was still working (or a simple smith was taking the same amount of time to make enough money to just buy such a scroll).

      A spellcaster with the right feats – and that massive investment in spellcasting – is going to be able to make items move cheaply, and far more quickly, than using Crafting to make them.

      Now Equipage with Purchasing can – of course – be Specialized and Corrupted as a form of item crafting so as to improve it’s efficiency, as the sample warlock-style build does.

      And yes, you could afford to craft that Wish scroll at fairly low level – or you could just buy one. The value you get by crafting an item directly is exactly the same as the value you get by crafting trade goods and buying the item. In either case, you are using it’s purchasing price. The math is exactly the same.

      Sadly for crafting repeated-use Wish items, the cost is based on the standard sales price – which includes (50 x 25,000 GP (the cost of the experience normally required) – or a 1,250,000 GP surcharge in addition to the base cost of (2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use Activated x Spell Levle Nine x Caster Level Seventeen) = 1,556,000 GP as the base for a limited-use item. x.2 for three times monthly is 311,200 GP. Per the SRD, as an item with a calculated base cost of above 200,000 GP, this is an Epic Item and subject to a x10 cost multiplier, for a final total of 3,112,000 GP. While you could avoid going epic with the right restrictions, it’s still going to be pricey.

      “Azeroth Crafting” is – as noted earlier – almost mechanically identical (and identical in effect) to crafting trade goods and simply purchasing the items you want. It is a bit cheaper – but far slower – than a spellcasters version of item creation. Even the trick of using a Ring of Sustenance and hauling along a portable worhshop so that you can work while adventuring will not match up to a spellcaster using crafting homunculi or familiars to make stuff while he or she is otherwise occupied (which is definitely cheesy, even if you allow Eberron stuff).

      Or, of course, you could just buy a Stipend.

    • Create Item, Specialized and Corrupted/only as a prerequisite (2 CP)
      Harvest of Artifice, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with Transmutation, only provides cash, user must specify plot-hook sources for his or her funding (2 CP). This provides 100 XP a month that can only be used for “transmutation”. (+1 CP per +50 XP)
      Transmutation, Specialized and Corrupted/only to produce money, never actually occurs on screen (2 CP).
      Net Result: 6 CP: 200 GP/Month for 6 CP, 400 for 8 CP, 800 for 10 CP, 1200 for 12 CP, 1800 for 14 CP. and +300/Month per additional CP. A character who starts with this ability (whether at level one or not) adds ten times his or her monthly income to his or her starting cash.
    • So if you spend 24 CP on this, you’ll wind up with an income of 4800 GP per month and an extra 48,000 GP worth of starting cash without having to do anything. I, personally would wonder why such a character wanted to be an adventurer, but Batman excused it, so…

      Now, if you’re worried about being unable to manage… you might want to consider having Wealth By Level be a law of nature, as discussed over HERE.

  • Equipage requires neither time nor xp, I meant to say. I wish there were some way of editing posts.

    • The basic crux of the issue is this: a player asked for a means to replicate how magic item crafting in World of Warcraft works to be represented in Eclipse. World of Warcraft does not require the expenditure of XP to make “magic” items. Hell, beyond a few quests that might qualify under the Create Artifact feat, there is nothing about item creation that neatly lines up with the 3.5 SRD. So that right there means we’re inventing a system to go beyond the system to incorporate a player request to mimic a system mechanic from another game entirely.

      There is nothing wrong with that, so long as the player(s) and the GM agree on the system to support this. This is also being implemented in a setting where magic items are regularly created by farmers burying things in the ground outside of town for a period of months to years in specially designed boxes covered in runes. There is no XP cost in making those either. So in essence, the character is attempting to use Azeroth Engineering to bypass the “bury it for eighteen months then dig it up” step with a significant expense of CP. I’d allow it under those considerations. If I was running a setting like Faerun? I’d disallow it without a really good argument from the player as to why they should be allowed to have it and why no one else in the setting has stumbled upon it either.

      As such, this comes back to the GM Rule #1: if you don’t like it in your campaign, veto it. If it fits well enough and the player(s) are willing to put in some extra work describing a new system that NPCs can use against them in clever ways, that’s good too. The entire Eclipse Handbook does not apply to every setting or campaign you will run, but you can make significant parts of it work as a baseline and extend things from there. During play testing we ended up getting told “No” for a number of “tricks” we tried (I was told “No invertebrates” more than once and another player figured out a means to get infinite Luck that got quickly banned).

      • Maybe it’s just due to a lack of familiarity with Eclipse, but when I read something I don’t automatically assume that it was written such that a player wouldn’t be allowed to use it fully, or only in certain specialized settings. Furthermore, I very frequently don’t understand how Eclipse abilities work. As such, if I see an ability and immediately think that it seems overpowered, I won’t immediately assume that it is, and that I shouldn’t expect to be able to use it in any game I might play. I know that it’s a possibility, but I also know that I could be misunderstanding how the ability works, and/or I could be missing some other factor which would change how the ability would play in an actual game. Both of those happen to me a lot.

        In this case my problem wasn’t so much one of objective power as comparative power. Specifically, I was bothered by the fact that it seemed like a strictly better way to make magic items than the conventional system. If you say it’s only for specific campaigns in which everybody uses that method, then that’s fine. That wasn’t clear to me from the original post, nor from anything in the ensuing discussion until your clarifying post.

      • Unfortunately, in this case, Spellweaver is producing the wrong impression. In general, items related to particular settings are noted as such – such as all the characters that include setting-specific rules, items, or “birthrights”.

        In this case, I suspect that it is a misunderstanding since – as previously noted – this is pretty much the standard “make money through crafting” routine using the Path Of The Dragon in place of the massive crafting boosts that usually make it work. The math makes it notably inferior to spellcasters using item crafting feats.

        I wouldn’t count on being able to use any specific build option in any given game though; tailoring the rules to the desired setting is a basic part of using Eclipse; it’s what the Campaign Options Checklist and the World Law sections are all about.

      • It’s really a bit less dramatic than that;

        The “making magic items” part gives results identical to using your craft skills to make Trade Goods and simply buying stuff.

        The actual benefits of “Azeroth Engineering” are the Occult Senses (offering a chance to save on raw materials and identification of some items if the GM is feeling cooperative), the use of Charms and Talismans when the style is active (Charms and Talismans are fun, but inherently minor), a very limited Augmented Bonus, and the Healing Hand / Ki Focus abilities – none of which are particularly overwhelming and all of which are available in many other ways if you want them.

        As for it functioning in the Forgotten Realms… if you’re using Eclipse to build characters you’re already introducing a lot of new stuff – but this won’t have much of an impact. At non-adventurer skill levels it will take forever and adventurers usually have better things to do.

        For a modern example… there are a few blacksmiths making a living at their forges, but most people just go to the hardware store.

      • Ah, I was unaware of 3.5 systems that allowed you to make magic items without the XP cost coming from somewhere (i.e. Harvest of Artifice, collecting from NPC’s, that one epic level staff…). I will also admit to not paying much attention to all the sourcebooks once it became obvious that most were filled with bland prestige classes, variations of the same “+1 to check in unusual scenario” abilities, and similarly bland magic items.

        And while I understand the argument that it is equivalent to simply making and selling trade goods to buy the item anyway, there is a part of my brain that finds the equivalence too abstract and thus as a GM I would be likely to restrict allowing it in many settings.

        My apologies for the wrong impression.

      • That was one of the basic problems with endless expansions – each one had to include at least a few examples of power-creep or ways to get around old restrictions to get people who were interested in mechanics to buy them. Sadly, that made the eventual collapse of the system – and a reboot to a new edition – inevitable. I tried to put a spike in that, but never got enough of an audience.

        And I quite understand. As usual, in Eclipse, the setting takes priority.

        If magical crafters are few, and so magical items are rare and precious and very hard to get custom made unless there’s a crafter in the party… it would be extremely powerful (and would likely have to be limited by calling for an additional immunity, knowing the proper “formula” for specific items, or having to turn up specific rare ingredients like “Create Artifact”).

        In the Forgotten Realms, or “default setting” d20 games, where characters are presumed to be able to buy what they want, it amounts to coupling two special abilities – a way to have a worthwhile non-adventuring income stream and a way to avoid having to actually go shopping. There are several ways to do both of those things – so it’s not a big deal either way. If it’s sufficiently uncommon it might well trigger some upheaval based on perceived competition with traditional crafters though.

        In a really high-magic or fast-progression world – places where the characters are gaining stacks of magical treasure or are power-leveling (in one game I played in the party focused on nothing but racing from encounter to encounter and was managing an average of two levels per week) – buying this would be pointless; there wouldn’t be enough time to make a worthwhile profit, so you’d be much better off investing your character points in something else.

        And it’s not a worry – once a wrong assumption (“You’re getting out of the XP cost!”) gets into a discussion, it’s very hard to get past it.

    • It’s more trouble than it’s worth I think.

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