Thursday, April 20, 2017

Designer's Notes: Crafting Imbuements


Pyr102-cover_1000

This article gestated for a long time - I first began exploring the concept after a conversation on the forums in 2015.

The idea was fairly simple: have a set of imbuement skills that let you create common boosts for powerful weapons, armor, or tools.

I am not too proud to say that it took me a good year to figure out how to work that concept as a skill. I actually created two other systems so that I could get a general idea for what I wanted first with powers and then I used the second system to turn powers into skills. That was . . . not easy and I'm still working on making it into something that could be publishable.

All that aside, Crafting Imbuements was fun to write and extremely satisfying. To go from a 40ish word post and turn it into something that other gamers could use produces a warm feeling in the belly of a writer.

All in all it took me about 200 hours to write, 90 hours to edit, 150 hours worth of research (mostly in the fact that I had to sketch out a system to create a system to create a system), and 160 hours of revision. I spent a further 20 hours looking over the preliminary PDF for any issues and revising. To date, this is probably the most time I've ever sunk on a Pyramid article (about 15.5 40-hour work weeks).

I had several outtakes due to space and other concerns.


Adjustable Gear
General; IQ/VH
Default: Specialty for related skill at same penalty as skill default.
Prerequisite: Imbue 1.


This skill causes the item to grow or shrink up to any size within the size modifier of the being it was made for. For example, SM 0 leather armor is "one size fits all" as long as you are SM 0. This adds +2 CF.

Modifiers: -2 per band of difference it can shrink (e.g., -2 lets a SM 0 shirt fit a SM -1 or SM +1 being); -2 for rigid or metal armor, -4 for both. -4 if the item covers all hit locations.


Quick-Draw Gear
General; IQ/VH
Default: Specialty for related skill at same penalty as skill default.
Prerequisite: Imbue 1.


This skill allows gives you a +1 to Fast-Draw rolls to ready the item in question. This adds +1 CF.

Modifiers: -1 per +1 to Fast-Draw rolls. Add a -5 if the item automatically jumps into you hand. -5 if the item cannot normally be used with Fast-Draw; the GM decides which speciality the item uses.


Restricted Gear
General; IQ/VH
Default: Specialty for related skill at same penalty as skill default.
Prerequisite: Imbue 3.


This skill makes it so that the item can only be used by a specific person or one who is "worthy" of it (the GM/crafter decides exactly what this means and any criteria ). This adds +4 CF. This results in a -10 to all operation rolls to use it or counts as being a weight equal to 101 x the Basic Lift of the person trying to use it making it impossible for him to lift. The GM should ruthlessly forbid the use of such items as a way to trap targets - if they are not trying to use it neither of these effects apply and they can get out from underneath it. If the GM wants to allow such shenanigans then the base CF becomes +49 CF.

Modifiers: -1 if it it can only be used by a small group (such a family or bloodline), -2 if it can be used by only a specific race or those from a specific place, -3 if it can be used only by those of a specific nationality, religion, or race, -5 if it comes with a password that allows it to be used by anyone who possesses it.


Shifting Gear
General; IQ/VH
Default: Specialty for related skill at same penalty as skill default.
Prerequisite: Imbue 2.


This skill turns one item into another and allows it to shift between two shapes. This takes 10 seconds, but requires no other rolls. This adds a fixed rate to the base cost of the object multiplied by the difference in weight of the objects. This cost is equal the most expensive shape it can turn into plus 80% of all other forms. For example, if you had a dagger ($20, 0.25 lbs.) that turned into a silver ring ($115, 0.1 lbs.), the cost would be $462.50. This is derived from 100% of the cost for the ring ($115) plus 80% of the cost of the dagger ($16) multiplied by the difference in weight (0.25 / 0.1 = 2.5%), or $327.50. Adding $327.50 and $135 we get the final price of $462.50.

Modifiers: -1 per second shaved off the time to shift. At 1 second to shift (-9) you can add a further -2 to make the shift instant.


Summonable Gear
General; IQ/VH
Default: Specialty for related skill at same penalty as skill default.
Prerequisite: Imbue 3.


This skill makes it so that if you lose your gear it will find its way back to you. The GM will have to adjudicate how this happens but it is not overtly mystical. For example, if you were disarmed you'd find the sword at your feet or otherwise nearby where you can get it. Assume this takes 1d-3 (minimum of 1) seconds to retrieve it. This is adjusted for circumstances. FOr example, if it's stolen from you this might become minutes or hours or if you drop it over a rope bridge into a river, it might take days or weeks. Regardless, it will return. This adds +4 CF.

Modifiers: -5 if it can actually move, roll, slither back to you; -10 if it can fly toward you, or -20 if it teleports.  For ground-based movement assume that half the crafter's effective imbuement skill is its ground move, for air-move assume that it's the effective imbuement skill. Add a -1 per 2 points of additional move added (or 4 for air-based movement). 

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