Should there be a detailed item crafting rules for both magical and mundane items in D&D 5?

Should there be detailed be detailed item crafting rules for both magical and mundane items in D&D 5e?


What do you think 5e crafting / item creation should be like?


For me the answer is an unequivocal yes because item creation is key for my home campaign, you see there is a house rule that has been in place for many years if you wish to level you must create something for the world. What you would create is dependent largely on your class and profession but you had to make something. So for a mage, you might create a magic item or a spell, a bard a story or a song, a fighter perhaps you would found a legacy item or forge a legendary sword. So over the last 30 years my players have been diligently building my world for me with their contributions. In the course of their career every PC at my table contributes as many as twenty items to my campaign world. I would love to see a detailed item creation system, with lots of rules and guidelines for creating just about any magical or mundane item you could come up with.

Sure. I think they should definitely not be bothered with in the core system, as the game works just fine without them. 

Some factors to consider in designing the rules for this.
What level can the characters do this? Normal adventuring level? Only after retirement? Right away?
How are the capabilities of the item determined? By a mathematical expression? A chart? DM in consultation with the player? Player whim? Unique, or systematic?
What's the procedure for creating it? Stick money or some other type of magical currency in until the item drops from the slot? Unique recipes requiring extensive questing?
What's the cost? XP, Time, Money, Ability Scores?

Pretty sure all these factors have appeared in one edition or another. Mix and match to create your own. 
I hope the new edition doesnt return to the horror of massive mathmatical overhead of the yesteryear. The creation of a blessed magical weapon became an excel spreadsheet where the overall effectiveness of the planned new weapon was evaluated, where gaps in rules were searched for and where the flavour of the setting gave way to more important book keeping factors.

Discussions became "well the ability to hit an incorporeal creature are not that important in the weapon as we don't often meet incorporeal things" and the following conversation became more like a chinese take away list. "I need a number 54-Good Aligned, a number 104-Cold Iron, Number 148-Can shed light as per a torch".

Certainly not the way I want to have my game run.
Personally I'd rather see magic item creation be left to NPCs.  For the most part, all crafting rules did in 3e and 4e were allow players to break gold balancing and bypass magic item limitations.  In organized play, crafting was a way to have super equipment on the cheap essentially breaking the gold curve per level.  In home games, crafting became an exercise in finding underpriced items in the books for your whole party and since one could craft them themselves, the DM couldn't just say "You can't find that here".  Realistic crafting also should entail serious downtime and a serious base of operations.  Blacksmiths had their own smelters and anvils.  Alchemy labs really shouldn't be portable things, heck my feel for a wizard's alchemy lab is a dangerous place where if you accidently knock something over, it might blow up!

Here's a typical scenario (seen this happen many times)...
Party discovers location of the Big Bad.  It's the culmination of the chapter.  So, party stocks up for final assault which translates into crafting a month and a half or more of items to get ready for the assault.  Something always seems anti-climatic about this, but it happened just about every time....and don't get me started on NPC crafters and/or artificers taken with the Leadership feat.  It's amazing how one Feat gets one all the crafting skills and your items are getting made while you are adventuring for cheap...
As far as I'm concerned, all I need to know is how much it costs and how long it takes to make it. Apart from that, I can't imagine the rules not being superfluous. The 3e rules were fairly tedious. While I would certainly enjoy that sort of thing, my players (and the majority of players, most likely) don't really want to spend their game time converting prices to silver, figuring out the fractions for base cost, and then making multiple checks against it.
Should there be detailed be detailed item crafting rules for both magical and mundane items in D&D 5e?

Crafting should probably be a module, because the degree and nature vary widely. Some campaign styles pretty much reject the idea of PCs spending time or money on anything not directly related to the campaign, while others favor characters working between adventures and building their own weapon/tools. There is also a big question on how detailed you want the crafting system to be, do you grab the required amount of gold and spend 1 day crafting an item or do you get a scavenger hunt list of exotic components you need to brew a potion?

What I would actually like is two crafting systems. A simple system, either automatic or with simple skill checks, to make mundane and minor items. Then a more complex system that requires the characters actually work at it to craft more powerful items.


Should there be detailed be detailed item crafting rules for both magical and mundane items in D&D 5e?


What do you think 5e crafting / item creation should be like?



I think there should be a book on each of the subjects.
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I would prefer to see three optional systems for mundane crafting:

  1. Complex, ala 3e.  You can train in a Craft, you can improve in the craft as you level up and your level in a craft determines what you can make, how fast you can make it, and how much it will cost you. 

  2. Simple, ala 4e.  You can train in a Craft, and it lets you make whatever you want at slightly less than it would cost you to buy. 

  3. Hybrid.  Someone trained can make mundane items ala the Simple method, and any object that affects adventuring skills (masterwork weapons, specialized armor, unique materials like silvered weapons, mithril armor, etc.), requires the Complex method.


And three optional systems for magical crafting:



  1. Complex, ala AD&D.  You can go on a quest to make a magic item, and that's really the only way you get items other than finding them in troves.

  2. Simple, ala 3e/pre-Essentials 4e.  You can learn a ritual or feat to make magic items appropriate to your level.

  3. Hybrid, ala 4e post-Essentials.  You can learn a ritual to make simple items appropriate to your level (ala, +3 dagger, potions, scrolls, etc.).  You need to go on a quest to make anything more complex than that (like dragonslayer swords, or carpets of flying).

I think that the classes of 5ed will be balanced for a game without magical items.

If they allow the wizard to create magical items for himself, then they have to give the fighter something in return. Otherwise the game will be unbalanced.

Crafting sound like fun, but I wonder if it will unbalance the game. Perhaps the upcoming Tome of Crafting should contain guidelines for balancing a high magic game. 

I like the idea that crafting can wrong. Your magic sword may develop a mind of its own, or it may end up being cursed if you fumble the roll. That makes the game more fun.
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I think it should have some crafting rules modules, yes. I always go for a "you're a blacksmith and a hero you can craft magic items that's the end of it" route, but I think crafting rules are an interesting module at least. I'd rather see crafting rules than another picture of a dragon.
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Ideas for 5E
This may be a little off-topic, but my favorite games were the ones where a PC was lucky to have 1 or 2 signature magic items (a legendary sword, an ancestral suit of armor, etc) throughout their entire career. Most of the "heavy lifting" was done through sheer ability and mundane gear. While I like having plenty of options for magic item selection (including crafting), I don't want to HAVE to give each PC 8 - 10 magic items every couple of levels just so they'll be able to handle the challenges ahead.
What do you think 5e crafting / item creation should be like?

Although crafting adds 'roleplaying' feel, level 2+ PC's can pretty much get as much non-magical, mundane gear as they want. So I'd want crafting rules to instead detail more interesting uses like:
1) trap setting
2) 'rule'-breaking. For example: masterwork items (buffs) for a limited amount of people, and for a limited time, unless you are around to maintain them.
3) business building (but only in a separate module)
4) Clockwork inventions
5) golems/constructs
6) advanced gear that requires a minimum crafting ability to 'purchase' (or use/maintain), so they are only available to higher level characters.
7) 'In dungeon' uses for crafting, like repairing things or improvising. Anecdote: my DM once had some enemy Duergar go all "A-team" on us (i.e. improvised some siege equipment while we took some short rests in a fortified area)... which made me desire rules that the players could use.

Intutively, I'd expect to use the 5e skill system (whatever that will be) as the basis for crafting... but if the number of skills is purposefully being kept low to streamline the system, then the feat system would work fine (especially if separate pools were used for non-combat feats vs. combat feats, as previously discussed for balance vs. roleplaying reasons).

Creation Rules need to be minimalist, funtional, and worthwhile enough that they aren't rendered completely meaningless by just talking the DM into letting the players rummage through the Sears Catalog.
As far as I'm concerned, all I need to know is how much it costs and how long it takes to make it. Apart from that, I can't imagine the rules not being superfluous. The 3e rules were fairly tedious. While I would certainly enjoy that sort of thing, my players (and the majority of players, most likely) don't really want to spend their game time converting prices to silver, figuring out the fractions for base cost, and then making multiple checks against it.




I totally agree.  To me, crafting an item (mundane or magical) should be part of the shared story telling with limits set by the DM.   Having the costs (even without the crafting time) would be enough in most cases.   

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Although crafting adds 'roleplaying' feel, level 2+ PC's can pretty much get as much non-magical, mundane gear as they want.


Really good post, especially this thought. I don't see the point in detailed (and likely totally arbitrary and inaccurate) rules for activities that will not occur once the PCs have opened a few treasure chests. Easy to use systems for signature items, improvised traps and siege equipment, and rafts built from driftwood make a lot of sense to me. I'm not sure time and cost should be at the heart of those systems, however. PCs quickly cease to be among the 99%, and rules need to take that into account.

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I think there need to be several item crafting systems, because different groups will expect different things.

For example: I expect that a fighter who is a master blacksmith should be able to make armor and weapons so high in quality that they are considered magical in the rules.  He may need some special materials to pull off different magical effects (like quenching a sword that is to be a flaming sword in red dragon blood), but he should be able to do it without having to be a caster.

Now, I know some people will say no way to that.  To some people, only casters can make magic items.  That's fine; different strokes for different folks.  A caster-only creation system should certainly be one of the options for those people.

I also know that some people will want the rampant magic item bloat of 3e.  That's fine too.  If you want a system where the wizard can make wands and scrolls to invalidate every other member of the party so they just stand around, and behold his awesomeness, and carry his stuff (just a little good-natured ribbing ), then that should be one of the options too.

There should also be rules for adjusting the difficulty of the task of item creation.  Maybe item creation is reliable and always works given the prescribed formula.  Or maybe it requires a skill check.  Or maybe it requires multiple skill checks during the process, any one of which can screw the pooch and you have start all over again.  The DM should decide which level of difficulty is wanted, but the rules and advice should be there to make choosing/modifying these systems easier.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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There should be a module for it.

It could be called "Manual of I have no life and need a bucket"Tongue Out

On a serious note, I see no use for one but a module for those that like that type of mundane information should enjoy it.
Mundane - yes.  It should financially never matter.  The #1 money maker in a campaign world is adventuring.  You choose to do it for the flavor and roleplaying aspects of it.   Obviously this can be ignored to any degree by those that do not like it.

Magical - no.  I'm ok if a module or two exist providing options for magic item creation.  I don't want to play in a campaign with those rules though.  I'm ok if by some great quest a player is able to make a magic item.  From a pure character power situation it should never be worth it.  The choice to create a magic item should be a sacrifice for story and roleplay.


 
 
Can anyone explain the logic behind the omission of a crafting system?

It seems to me that the abscence of a crafting system made no sense at all.  What problem did it solve for anyone exactly by excluding it?  Had it been added all you had to do as a GM was say "no, not using it".  Hence easily serving both those that want it and those that dont.  By omitting they basically unescessarly alienated part of the community who wants and expects the mechanic.  It created so much turmoil and anger about it, created all sorts of work for those that wanted to include it in the game by basically having to design it themselves.  Why exclude?       


And they wonder why their is a fracture in the community.. HELLO....!!! Here is yet another example or "what the hell where you thinking!"  

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I think they know how they fractured the community this time around. They've alluded to it in some of the posts. They built a game that is very tightly focused on satisfying one particular type of D&D player. You can see it - several of the people who like it say "I never liked D&D before" or "Before this, I hated D&D". That's an indicator that something very significant has changed in the game - if you're attracting people who hated D&D... you pretty obviously made a game that isn't very much like previous D&D. If you had, these people wouldn't like it. So, obviously, by making a game that satisfies a lot of people who hated D&D, you alienated a lot of people who liked it.
Hopefully, DDN will provide a big tent, and both groups can play under it. I'm mostly interested in seeing ideas on how to make that work.

And on that note:

Yes. There should be some item crafting rules. They would obviously make a fine rules module - or several. People like them, there is absolutely no reason other than selfish malice on the part of people who don't like them, to keep them out.

But I'm not interested in them for my game.  Not mundane items, not magical items. Characters in my campaigns are generally adventuring, studying, training, or partying. They're not craftsmen or professionals. Crafting magical items can be done - but it's a unique endeavor each time.
Construction rules are a part of the game I love, from castles to magic items.  I'm all for keeping them.

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I don't mind magic item crafting rules, so long as they make the creation of magic items difficult and expensive. I'm not a fan of having a party make so much magic that it reduces the special-ness of the treasure they find.
Can anyone explain the logic behind the omission of a crafting system?


No crafting system was omitted.  It wasn't included with the Skill System so as to avoid forcing people to have to choose to be proficient in one of two pillars.  It was included in Backgrounds and in Martial Practices.  The real problem was that it wasn't included in the initial books.  You had to wait until Player's Handbook 2.

I would hope that a new crafting system, such as it is, is included from the get-go, but still not included in any system in which you are forced to choose between combat proficiency and noncombat proficiency.
Can anyone explain the logic behind the omission of a crafting system?

It seems to me that the abscence of a crafting system made no sense at all.  What problem did it solve for anyone exactly by excluding it?  Had it been added all you had to do as a GM was say "no, not using it".  Hence easily serving both those that want it and those that dont.  By omitting they basically unescessarly alienated part of the community who wants and expects the mechanic.  It created so much turmoil and anger about it, created all sorts of work for those that wanted to include it in the game by basically having to design it themselves.  Why exclude?       


And they wonder why their is a fracture in the community.. HELLO....!!! Here is yet another example or "what the hell where you thinking!"  




I think you make an excellent point Xguild, at a bare minimum I would like to see an intricate magic item crafting system viable from day one in 5e. To me this is a necessary part of D&D and not an optional piece. I resent and oppose the idea that anything someone liked before 4e was bad and may only somehow be included in 5e as an optional rules module. There is a presumptive argument that 4e is somehow the good default rules set. There are a lot of these default 4e ideas that I find weird, faster is always better fluff is always bad, OMG someone said you cannot do something quick balance it within an inch of it’s life. There are going to be some 4e carry over rules in 5e that I am going to have to live with, and guess what there may be some rules in the core product from older additions that others may have to live with.

Although crafting adds 'roleplaying' feel, level 2+ PC's can pretty much get as much non-magical, mundane gear as they want.


Really good post, especially this thought. I don't see the point in detailed (and likely totally arbitrary and inaccurate) rules for activities that will not occur once the PCs have opened a few treasure chests. Easy to use systems for signature items, improvised traps and siege equipment, and rafts built from driftwood make a lot of sense to me. I'm not sure time and cost should be at the heart of those systems, however. PCs quickly cease to be among the 99%, and rules need to take that into account.


I want to second this. With the ever-present exception of 'making arrows in the field' or 'slap together a makeshift raft,' I've not seen a need to spend time making anything non-magical. At least in 3e, anything that was otherwise out of your price-range would require a ton of down-time to craft - time you could have spent adventuring to gain the extra loot necessary to just buy such an item outright. For things that would require days or weeks worth of skilled labor, it'd probably just be easier to #1) check to see if the PC's background indicates the proper skill to make such a thing, and #2) check online resources to see how long creating such an item takes in real life, if necessary.

As far as magic item creation goes, I feel it works best when the basic model is incredibly simple (spend money equal to market price = you made the item!), but modules could complex it up. I do prefer item crafting being in the hands of anybody with the ritual, ever since reading one of the Drizzt books where he watches his dwarf companion - not a spellcaster, mind - forge a magical hammer.
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My favorite 3e class was the Artificer.

The class just wasn't the same in 4e.

Yes, we need to be able to craft our own magical and mundane items.

And the thing is, we could have done so in 3e much more easily if they had just published the rules they use to make items with instead of keeping it secret to use as filler in splatbooks.  Back in the day I reverse engineered the armor formula here on the boards, and that inspired someone else to reverse engineer the weapons.  In a few days we could make any kind of weapon or armor you wanted and have it be pretty much perfectly balanced with the PHB gear because we found the formulas and rules that the devs used.

Just put that stuff in the books and be done with it.
My favorite 3e class was the Artificer.

The class just wasn't the same in 4e.

Yes, we need to be able to craft our own magical and mundane items.

And the thing is, we could have done so in 3e much more easily if they had just published the rules they use to make items with instead of keeping it secret to use as filler in splatbooks.  Back in the day I reverse engineered the armor formula here on the boards, and that inspired someone else to reverse engineer the weapons.  In a few days we could make any kind of weapon or armor you wanted and have it be pretty much perfectly balanced with the PHB gear because we found the formulas and rules that the devs used.

Just put that stuff in the books and be done with it.



Well said!



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Crafting... hhhmm... Not a big fan of crafting. Usually this is what happens with crafting:

1. The players learn that they can make more money by just churning out magic items and selling them, than by adventuring.

or

2. They players exploit the system to churn out so many magic items that they unbalance the game.

I really do prefer that most crafting be done by NPCs. I don't have a problem with a PC class having some sort of ritual that allows them to make some stuff, but keep it simple (and expensive to force them to adventure to pay for it).

No one should be churning out rings of invisibility or holy avengers. One problem with 3.5 was that it made it, first off too complicated to calculate, and second too easy for players to make stuff. Because it was so easy to make stuff, they had to make the good stuff really expensive, so expensive that they effectively took it out of the game (how many rings of invisibility did a group find in 1st or 2nd edition, how many were found in 3rd?... none). By the time the group could afford to own a ring of invisibility, they were fighting creatures that aren't hindered by the +20 to hide that it gives (+40 if you didn't move). The rogue of the same level, had a +30 to their spot roll.

In my opinion, magic item creation should either be the stuff done by mighty NPCs behind the curtain, or the focus of the campaign requiring a long quest, then expensive ritual to create the item.
I want to see an item crafting system of some sort.

I would be fine with the item crafting and World Economics rules being expanded in a subsequent publication together.

You should be able to pick a theme or a background that would allow your character to do Stock Market Trader for a handful of GP, or set up shop as a Craftsman (mundane items only) and expend some out-of-game-session time to get a Masterwork item.  Enough to say "this makes my character stick out in the crowd", not "I'm going to supply the Imperial Army".  I still want my 4e Warlock to be able to convert some skunk hides (a trophy from his first fight) into a Cloak of Troglodyte Stench.

Mundane crafting should never be a problem unless the item is not man-portable.  (I want to build the Empire State Building for my personal lair; it'll be ready tomorrow, right?)  You may need to find a big city and a specialist craftsman, but this is DM Rule 0 territory.

Magical crafting should be hard for anything on your power level, easy for anything beneath you, almost impossible (MUST adventure and probably fulfill a Quest) for items more powerful than you.  Yes a Demigod can make a Holy Avenger in a month - but the humble Friar can only tell himself "someday..."

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I'd rather see hightly detailed rules for crafting mundane items come first, and maybe some rules for magic item creation come later.  I'd like magic items to be rare, special, and unique--maybe something beyond the PC's ability to produce on their own.

But if your Fighter with the Blacksmith background wants to build his own armour, then I want to see that well-supported in the basic rules.

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.

There are a lot of these default 4e ideas that I find weird, faster is always better fluff is always bad, OMG someone said you cannot do something quick balance it within an inch of it’s life.


Can you point to a place where 4e says "fluff is always bad?"  I bought a significant quanitity of 4e books, as I did with every D&D edition that I've played, and I've never seen that in any of the 4e books.  For that matter, can you explain how "faster is better" is a 4e philosophy when one of the largest complaints about 4e is how long combat takes?

There are going to be some 4e carry over rules in 5e that I am going to have to live with, and guess what there may be some rules in the core product from older [ed]itions that others may have to live with.


I've enjoyed every edition of D&D that I've ever played.  If they can keep the good and ditch the bad, regardless of edition of origin, more's the better.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I'd rather see hightly detailed rules for crafting mundane items come first, and maybe some rules for magic item creation come later.  I'd like magic items to be rare, special, and unique--maybe something beyond the PC's ability to produce on their own.

But if your Fighter with the Blacksmith background wants to build his own armour, then I want to see that well-supported in the basic rules.


Yikes. Has D&D ever had "highly detailed rules" for much of anything? I'm curious what rules we may have seen would qualify as highly detailed, and why mundane crafting is worthy of that kind of attention.

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Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

I want a simple system like 3e's for crafting mundane stuff.  I may even prefer it be a bit better.  I like this information existing to help the DM.  No one does mundane crafting to make money.  A 1st level group earns more in one session than a blacksmith does in a year of hard labor.  

I don't want magic item creation except in very rare and difficult circumstances.   
I want a simple system like 3e's for crafting mundane stuff.  I may even prefer it be a bit better.  I like this information existing to help the DM.  No one does mundane crafting to make money.  A 1st level group earns more in one session than a blacksmith does in a year of hard labor.  

I don't want magic item creation except in very rare and difficult circumstances.   



So then you'd be ok with the crafting of mundane (or magical for that matter) items costing 5% more than just buying it, even at maximum efficiency?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
A 1st level group earns more in one session than a blacksmith does in a year of hard labor. 

Not true, not true at all.
3e NPCs made plenty of money if you actually used the rules as they were written.

Everybody saw the 1sp a day thing and got their knickers in a twist, while ignoring the fact it was for *UNSKILLED LABOR*, aka doing things that don't require skill checks, like digging ditches.

3e NPCs could take crafting or profession skills just like the PCs could.  And in most cases, the NPCs would be better at it than the PCs because they would not only max out their ranks at lvl 1, they would also be taking Skill Focus in it as well.

Read this, it will clear things up for you.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
A 1st level group earns more in one session than a blacksmith does in a year of hard labor. 

Not true, not true at all.
3e NPCs made plenty of money if you actually used the rules as they were written.

Everybody saw the 1sp a day thing and got their knickers in a twist, while ignoring the fact it was for *UNSKILLED LABOR*, aka doing things that don't require skill checks, like digging ditches.

3e NPCs could take crafting or profession skills just like the PCs could.  And in most cases, the NPCs would be better at it than the PCs because they would not only max out their ranks at lvl 1, they would also be taking Skill Focus in it as well.

Read this, it will clear things up for you.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


I'm no expert on farming or history, but I disagree with some assumptions in your link.

Farmers are often unable to work for many weeks or even months out of the year, depending on the growing season. Also, you ignore that modern family patterns may not be valid in all cultures. For example, elderly parents have traditionally lived with their children. Some may continue working more or less until they die, but others would continue to need food and other care for many years beyond the end of their working lives.

Further, a lot of families in the past had many children, due to high infant and childhood mortality, something you totally ignore. Families probably lost at least some labor efficiency due to wives having to work while pregnant, though maybe they could time childbirth to coincide with their idle season (possible, but unlikely). Further, feeding young children who were unable to contribute much labor and who would possibly die before they reached adulthood is an investment that many families would likely lose a lot of savings to repeatedly.

Also, running a farm takes more than labor. Children provide free labor, but then they marry, which is costly - perhaps land, coin, livestock, and/or other goods will be paid as a dowry or bride price, or maybe just given to the new couple as a gift. Either way, parents eventually pay at least something for all that "free" labor. More than that, it costs something to build a farm, a house, and all the buildings, fences, and so on. Periodic reinvestment is also required, or else the farm will fall into ruin over time. Vehicles of some kind are also important if the farmer expects to sell his produce. A simple cart can suffice, though a larger (and more expensive) vehicle may help a farm family bring more to the local market to sell.

Your analysis of skills seems too simple as well. A farmer may need skill in carpentry to build and maintain his farm, skill in buying and selling goods, and maybe some skills relevant to hunting, trapping, or fishing. Some of these things could be handled by other family members - I don't really know how all of this worked.

In brief, I think that you give farmers too long of a working season (potentially by a large margin), and you gloss over a lot of their expenses. I also don't know what portion of the population has in the past been farm *owners* as opposed to hired workers (i.e. unskilled laborers earning 1 sp per day), assuming even that the campaign is modeled off real-world societies of the past. So I suspect that a "typical" farm family had a smaller income and a longer idle period to stretch that income over, possibly with more mouths to feed. And I suspect that some of those unskilled laborers would only have work during some periods of the year.

This, by the way, is why I am not terribly interested in a detailed mundane skill system for D&D. 

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Don't forget that they preserved much of their harvest to feed them for the rest of the year...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Don't forget that they preserved much of their harvest to feed them for the rest of the year...


Totally - I see those "earnings" from Profession checks as kind of an approximation. Some of the money earned is probably just goods that will be consumed later, but it's easier to abstract all of it as gold. I get the impression that some people think D&D has at some point had a detailed and realistic system for mundane professions, even though a lot of the systems are incredibly simplified, abstract, and hand-wavey.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

This, by the way, is why I am not terribly interested in a detailed mundane skill system for D&D. 


Well, yeah. I could see this being it's own book, with each profession specialty description and rules taking up a single page, but somehow cramming it into the PH1 seems kind of crazy. I mean, the process, skills, time, and tools necessary to make mail armor is pretty different from making either boiled leather or plate armor. The same could be said for all manner of professions and their specialties.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Farming is just the easiest to use example.

You can say they hold stuff back for winter, or you can change it to a profession that easily works year round, like a Thatcher or a Blacksmith.

The point is if you actually use the rules as they're written, then they work.  Its only when you start ignoring them and crying how broken they are that you end up looking silly.

"Oh the poor blacksmith can't make a living!"
"Uh, dude, he's making more per week than your PC is."

I do find it amusing though that you first cry "NPCs can't make enough to live off of by the rules!" and then when you're shown that yes, they can, you immediately start trying to handwave reasons why the rules don't apply.

You got something against commoners not being dirt poor beggers?
You got something against commoners not being dirt poor beggers?



Dont all commoners just live off muck?

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