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Post by Eric of Atrophy Wed May 23, 2012 5:51 am

Ok, here's the deal. I just tried the crafting crystals in bluebeard's tower ... they just disappeared and left the weapon hanging there. I read the sign that said to reset, so I did and tried again. No go. So I went over to the crafting boots and tried to craft the weapon's appearance. The boots gave me just one conversation option, to reset them, which i know means that my pc doesn't have enough crafting ranks to get the job done. In this case, some feedback from the crystals regarding an insufficient crafting level would be nice, instead of their current "let's just go invisible and stay that way until this bum splits" operation.

Let me also say that I am not a huge fan of the crafting rank requirement - it troubles me because a PC must be around 5 or 6 level to craft an item on the boots, and I would like to point out that such crafting is cosmetic only. One does not get mechanical bonuses or the ability to change/improve the nature of the crafted item. That being said, I humbly suggest that crafting requirements for the boots/crystals (and sronj's dummies, for that matter) be reduced to 0/none/nada/zilch. If an improvement was attached to the crafting process, I'd change my mind, but I don't see why the PC should have to wait/spend precious skill points for something that gives only a cosmetic benefit.

(also, in support of my argument, spectra's aurashift powder and skin/hair/tattoo change only has a gold price attached to it, as do bob's tattoo needles. These are items that change a PC's appearance, but do so at a cosmetic level.)

[My whole issue is this - my PC is assumed to be above average, because she is an adventurer. This assumption follows that she acquired her armor/gear from an individual smith, not from wal-mart, so I would expect it to be relatively different-looking. For those who don't care, that's awesome, but I DO care about my PC's appearance, and it has always chapped my arse that such a basic action carries such a high price. IMHO, of course, but still MHO.]

Please please please please please please The Amethyst Dragon, consider dropping the crafting requirements to 0 so that we may benefit from the choice to cosmetically alter our armors/shields/weapons/whatever!

questions, comments, gripes - what say ye?
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Post by A_Vagabond Wed May 23, 2012 5:59 am

I've never needed base crafting ranks, at least to use Sronj's dummies. At a minimum, go to Forge and get a crafting helm, it gives bonuses to the crafting skills, and that may be enough to get you going?
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Post by daveyeisley Wed May 23, 2012 9:06 am

Well, you do need at least 1 rank to gain the benefit of gear with skill bonuses. I am not positive, but The Amethyst Dragon may have made the crafting use a Base Rank comparison which would ignore bonuses.

I have to agree with Eric 100% here, though. Its cosmetic. No mechanical benefit. Any PC should be able to use it right out of the gate to customize.

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Post by A_Vagabond Wed May 23, 2012 10:29 am

Hm. I thought crafting was an untrained skill? My PCs usually have bonus in there from stats, anyway (Int)

I agree completely, cosmetic means should be available to anyone, but I always thought that, with a little purchased gear, I was able to craft, so that's just a gp cost, which I felt was fair, for those who do invest in the skill to not have to pay the gp that I do.

Have you tried to craft with the helm and/or int- boosting gear? At least at Sronj's? You can get a few of those +2/+4 int rings and the craft helm, and have a decent skill level without investing any skill points.
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Post by Ramana Jala Wed May 23, 2012 11:31 am

Yes, Base Ranks Required is a misnomer, because it works with item-augmented ranks. My dressmaker has only 1 invested rank, and with INT bonuses and equipment can do all Armor/Clothing appearance crafting including cloaks. I was very happy to find that, because my skill points are parsed so carefully for the many things that a rogue/ranger needs to do.

But I thought I did see somewhere that The Amethyst Dragon was intending to do away with required ranks for appearance craftings.
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Post by Eric of Atrophy Wed May 23, 2012 4:30 pm

These are all good suggestions, but the fact remains that I don't want to spend time and (more importantly) precious gold on getting a helm to craft (and having to keep that helm in my inventory), because crafting confers no benefits (and not to mention the fact that there is already a gold cost attached to the act). That's my point completely. If there was gain outside of the cosmetic, mayhaps I would go there and do that, but it does not, so I will not.
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Post by A_Vagabond Thu May 24, 2012 6:38 am

Hum. I thought your initial suggestion was to remove the skill rank requirement, not the gold requirement? Is it not understandable that if you want to go to an artisan crafter for unique gear, that there might be a higher price to pay? For a one-time investment in a crafting helm, you've basically got an "artisan-in-your-pocket" for any found gear.

I don't personally care one way or another; by the time I care about my PCs appearance, they've usually got means to acquire the gold to spend on this kind of stuff.
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Post by Eric of Atrophy Thu May 24, 2012 7:14 am

The gold doesn't trouble me, I can earn enough of it at low levels to support visiting a dummy once or twice. It doesn't really bother me to pay the gold at the crafting dummies. What troubles me is that a process that gives no tangible benefit beyond "ooh, that looks nice!" is not available to an out-of-the-gate PC. I have very particular tastes concerning my PC's equipment, and the store-bought items seldom get it right (not a fan of most of the shoulder pads, for instance). Now, to have to travel all over creation to purchase a helm to make a change that has no mechanical benefit to my PC (and let's bear in mind, this PC is a starting level PC - Aenea isn't the kindest place to these sorts of PCs) - it just doesn't float my boat.

Also, think to Spectra's magical dye-pot - it is expensive, but it has no requirements to use, as it only alters the color of your items - no tangible mechanical benefits are imparted. It's not a game-breaker or a game-changer - it just makes the PC nicer to look at.

My suggestion is this - to abolish the rank requirements for appearance changing of armor, items, etc. If that is not possible, then I instead suggest to make a merchant in the Vale area (the new Academy would be a nice place) who would carry gloves/helms of crafting at a reasonable price.

And understand this - if changing the appearance of a PC's armor (bracers, rings, what have you) added AC or skill pluses, or in some other way contributed to the >>mechanical<< improvement of said PC, I wouldn't be pursuing this thread. But because, as I've said previously, many times, the changes are purely cosmetic in nature, I see no reason for the crafting requirements.
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Post by A_Vagabond Thu May 24, 2012 8:10 am

You know, this is precisely the thought process I had (...in the past, on my own PW...) which led me to create a system whereby newly created PCs could not only choose their starting gear (within reason), but also had a freebie shot at crafting the appearance of that gear, at character creation, so they could start out looking like they expected.

I would even argue allowing for a voucher for new PCs, so that they can make said alterations once, for free, no DC needed. Maybe once per item type. Lots of options here...
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Post by Ramana Jala Thu May 24, 2012 8:15 am

I looked up what I thought The Amethyst Dragon had said about doing away with the skill check for visible modifications, and
here it is:

The Amethyst Dragon wrote:
Also, I'm going to be getting rid of the minimum ranks in Craft Armor/Craft Weapon with the new method. There will still be a skill check for said skills to finalize/make the appearance changes, and a gold cost to do so, both of which are based on the value of the item being modified:
DC: 10 + (ItemValue / 5000) vs. appropriate craft skill rank + bonuses
Gold Cost: 500 + (ItemValue / 100)
Unfortunately, although this seems to mean that he will get rid of the initial skill check to simply use the mannekins, there will still be a check for the actual appearance crafting.


This will change my own dressmaker's behaviour a bit, in that it will necessitate that, to save gold, clothes' appearances should be altered before enhancing them. I must say that, for me, this is a step in the opposite direction of what I had really liked about the Aenean appearance crafting system, which was that no matter the value of the armor, appearance change had been a low set cost. Even though the new DC change and the gold cost are not outrageous for most garments, especially cheap lower-level ones. However, I am forced to agree with the changes for the reason that it is true that one could say that an expensive garment is likely more difficult to sew than a cheap one, in the sense that in RL it's the geometrical intricacy of the pattern and the delicacy of the fabric that determines the difficulty (and I have experience at this). (Out of similar reasoning to accomodate reality, I had already made the limitation that my dressmaker wouldn't be able to work on plate armor.)

So, I do agree that it would be great to have appearance crafting essentially free, to avoid the fashion crimes that entry-level PCs have to put up with (like oversized shoulder pads). A compromise could be to maybe have the lowest level of item value be without check or cost, like up to 1000gp item value?

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