Author Topic: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting  (Read 9885 times)

Offline gojj

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 532
    • View Profile
PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« on: August 29, 2011, 11:19:37 PM »
I only have access to the PDF and was wondering if there were any significant changes in the book regarding Crafting. I'm asking because after I made my Crafter (with help from this community) and used him in a game, I found he was stupidly overpowered. This is his power section:

He was a Lore of Superb (5)
-2: Ritual: Crafting
-6: Refinement

Jacket: +5 Crafting Strength
Pocket Watch: +3 Crafting Frequency
Right Glove: 10 Water Shield. 4 uses
Left Glove: 10 Fire Shield, 4 uses
Necklace: 10 Spirit Block. 4 uses
Pencil: 10 Earth Maneuver, 4 uses
Ring: 10 Air Blast, 4 uses
7 Potion Slots

According to the PDF I have not broken any rules, my items do not exceed twice my Lore in Strength, my focus items do not individually exceed my Lore, but having potions with Strength 10 that have 4 uses each was just broken. During play I made each potion only single use and we still waltzed passed some very difficult confrontations. The enchanted items (while powerful) were less of a problem because their limited uses seemed to affect them more than the potions. Are there any revamped rules in the book that contradict the PDF regarding Crafting?

And on a semi-unrelated note, what does the Focus Specialization for Crafting do? The PDF describes it as "increas[ing] the limit on how many bonuses may be placed on a single focus item" (YS 280) but I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean that if you have a Focus Specialization of one a focus item can have a total bonus of your Lore +1?

[Edit: Changed the name of one of the Enchanted Items to avoid confusion]
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 07:11:26 PM by gojj »

Offline computerking

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 390
    • View Profile
    • Into the Dark
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 11:41:16 PM »
You must mean the pre-release PDF they distributed last year. Yeah, they made some changes to the crafting rules that would probably alter your results a bunch, but I'm nowhere near qualified to explain how it was changed without just quoting large segments of the book en masse. (I don't think the Evil Hat would like that.)
I'm the ComputerKing, I can Do Anything...
Into the Dark, A Podcast dedicated to Villainy
www.savethevillain.com

PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline Richard_Chilton

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2400
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 11:42:34 PM »
Um, you have the pre-release PDF and not the final release? If so you can go http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,26049.msg1108693.html#msg1108693 for instructions on how to get the final release copy.

If you have the final release then there are no differences between that and the book.

Richard

Offline wyvern

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1418
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 11:45:12 PM »
And on a semi-unrelated note, what does the Focus Specialization for Crafting do? The PDF describes it as "increas[ing] the limit on how many bonuses may be placed on a single focus item" (YS 280) but I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean that if you have a Focus Specialization of one a focus item can have a total bonus of your Lore +1?

No.  It means that you can fit more bonuses into a smaller focus item.  (I think.  I'll admit the wording isn't 100% clear.)

As for crafters... Yes, they can get exceptionally powerful without going outside the limits of the rules; the PDF and book should be about the same there.  If your character is too strong and is unbalancing the game, I'd suggest simply toning back on your abilities; were I statting such a character, I'd drop three points of refinement, pick up a resources stunt for an arcane lab, maybe a contacts stunt for suppliers (and consumers) of eldritch goods, add in The Sight (though probably not soulgaze), drop the frequency bonus item to +1, drop the power bonus item to +3, lose two of the defensive items, the pencil (since I don't think just "earth maneuver" is a sufficiently defined effect), and one of the potion slots.  That still leaves the character quite powerful and flexible, but a bit more rounded, and hopefully less likely to upstage anyone that's not ridiculously optimized.

Offline Vairelome

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 01:20:45 AM »
Your math checks out against the book.  I've heard that there were a fair number of changes in this area between the pre-release PDFs and the books, but what you've listed is fine.  I assume your necklace Block and your pencil Maneuver are more specifically statted out?

For your enchanted items generally, note that you can pay 1 mental stress per additional use after their base uses per session have run out.

As has been said many times before, optimized Crafters (and yours is a good example) are easy to build and quite powerful.  My own preference for this type of character is to keep the character optimized and then handle the "overshadowing other characters" potential through mid-game decisions.  For instance, if someone else can handle a problem perfectly well, but you can make a Lore declaration and use a potion to smash the problem to tiny bits...find something else useful to do.  I think it's a good idea in this circumstance to shift the focus off yourself by encouraging others and celebrating their successes (out of character, generally, but also in character if that makes sense).  Balance problems don't have to be game-breaking; and it can be useful to have a bit of extra leverage if your group gets smacked with an accidentally over-tuned encounter.  IMO, YMMV, etc.

Offline gojj

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 532
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 02:21:34 AM »
I did shorten the Enchanted Items to "Earth Maneuver, Spirit Block, etc." to save space and I thought it was easier to see the math this way. I also did mean the Pre-release PDF, but I had no idea they re-released it, I'm going to look into that now (feel kinda stupid regarding that one).

I was thinking of a few ways to nerf my guy, and some of those ways were suggested. I thought I should drop the power to eight so I don't exceed the skill ladder and dropping the frequency (suggested by wyvren) was the easiest solution so I'll do that and see where that leaves me. Thank you all for your advice.

However a couple other questions just occurred to me as I was re-reading the Crafting Section. 1. What would happen to my items and potions if I went through a threshold uninvited? I assume they would be effected by the same difficulties that normal Wizards would face, but I'm not sure because I have already imparted the magic into the items, it is just waiting to be released. 2. Would strong potions set off the same "alarms" strong focus items or strong enchanted items would. I know the book states that those able to detect such items consider a strong focus item equivalent to a gun, but are potions significantly harder to detect? I've only read the first three Dresden books so far but from that it seems that much of the strength of potions comes from the mundane ingredients and the magic inputted is akin to adding the finishing spices, just a pinch is enough.

Thank you all for your input once again and I apologize if these answers can be found in the book and I'm just not looking hard enough.

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1041
  • Unemployed in Greenland
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 03:32:31 AM »
However a couple other questions just occurred to me as I was re-reading the Crafting Section. 1. What would happen to my items and potions if I went through a threshold uninvited? I assume they would be effected by the same difficulties that normal Wizards would face, but I'm not sure because I have already imparted the magic into the items, it is just waiting to be released.

That is an outstanding question.  I'd personally handle it much like Sir Stuart's gun crossing outside the circle.  If you retain them or perform actions with them based on your will, they're nerfed.  If a resident picks up one that you dropped or gave to them, they work full strength.  In other words, treat the threshold nerfing as stuck to the uninvited character's will rather than the items.

Example: Throwing a magic grenade past a threshold: nerfed.  Throwing a magic grenade to someone inside who's invited and giving up possession of it: not nerfed.
Violence is like duct tape.  If it doesn't solve the problem, you didn't use enough.

My web based NPC formatter, output suitable for copy/paste to boards and wiki, can be found here.

Offline sinker

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2115
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 03:40:41 AM »
The major difference that I remember is that in the pre-release copy 1 enchanted item slot = 2 potion slots. In the current copy 1 enchanted item slot = 1 potion slot, which could make a difference.

Offline Vairelome

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 05:53:34 AM »
The major difference that I remember is that in the pre-release copy 1 enchanted item slot = 2 potion slots. In the current copy 1 enchanted item slot = 1 potion slot, which could make a difference.

Though in the OP's listing, he was using 1 EI slot = 1 potion slot already.

(Ritual = 2 FI slots, Refx6 = 12 FI slots, 14 total FI slots.  8 slots used for jacket/watch FIs, 6 left.  6 FI slots = 12 EI slots, subtracting out 5 EI leaves 7 potion slots.)

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1041
  • Unemployed in Greenland
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 05:59:04 AM »
Keep in mind that this is at least a -8 character;  he's by no means a newbie EI crafter.  In fact, he's dedicated six major milestones worth of refresh to nothing but improving his crafting abilities.  If he's so completely focused on one thing to the point that he has no power at all without his items, let them be powerful.  It's not like he's got a lot of versatility going for him outside the seven potions.

You might consider house ruling that potions cause nasty side effects if used more than one per scene (Storm Front).  In fact, that wouldn't be a bad addition to the RAW as it's definitively canon.

You also might consider that carrying seven potions worth of containers around is pretty bulky, especially multi-use ones.  The GM could start penalizing Athletics and other appropriate skills as the number he chooses to have on him in a scene increases past two or three.  Unless he's got them in a backpack or some such, then the GM could require a supplemental or even standard action to get the right one out.  That's not so much a house rule as it is normal GM arbitration, like any other character choosing to carry more than is really feasible.

Finally, consider talking to your GM and reminding him that EIs can be neutralized in play in quite a few ways.  The pocket watch number two (you did mean two separate watches, right?  not one being both a focus item and enchanted item?), pencil, and potions would require you having free hands.  None of the items are likely to work in running water and potions could be ruined entirely.  Then you have Kamori's "yoink" spell that she used on the book in DB.  Or the possibility that going into what was supposed to be a social situation visibly loaded for bear is likely to cause serious issues.

I'm not saying the GM should nerf their ability to be used but giving you enough headaches using them that the character isn't scene stealing every time wouldn't be a bad part of a solution.  It would even be a good way to gather up fate points if you had an aspect like More Stuff Than I Can Keep Track Of.  Which might be invoked to find it anyway if you missed a Lore role on having the potion you were looking for.  Or something similar.  That's just off the top of my head, feel free to modify as you see fit.
Violence is like duct tape.  If it doesn't solve the problem, you didn't use enough.

My web based NPC formatter, output suitable for copy/paste to boards and wiki, can be found here.

Offline sinker

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2115
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 06:14:00 AM »
Though in the OP's listing, he was using 1 EI slot = 1 potion slot already.

(Ritual = 2 FI slots, Refx6 = 12 FI slots, 14 total FI slots.  8 slots used for jacket/watch FIs, 6 left.  6 FI slots = 12 EI slots, subtracting out 5 EI leaves 7 potion slots.)

I didn't want to do the math. ;D Just one difference I remember.

Offline Vairelome

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 07:55:14 AM »
Keep in mind that this is at least a -8 character;  he's by no means a newbie EI crafter.  In fact, he's dedicated six major milestones worth of refresh to nothing but improving his crafting abilities.  If he's so completely focused on one thing to the point that he has no power at all without his items, let them be powerful.  It's not like he's got a lot of versatility going for him outside the seven potions.

You might consider house ruling that potions cause nasty side effects if used more than one per scene (Storm Front).  In fact, that wouldn't be a bad addition to the RAW as it's definitively canon.

You also might consider that carrying seven potions worth of containers around is pretty bulky, especially multi-use ones.  The GM could start penalizing Athletics and other appropriate skills as the number he chooses to have on him in a scene increases past two or three.  Unless he's got them in a backpack or some such, then the GM could require a supplemental or even standard action to get the right one out.  That's not so much a house rule as it is normal GM arbitration, like any other character choosing to carry more than is really feasible.

Finally, consider talking to your GM and reminding him that EIs can be neutralized in play in quite a few ways.  The pocket watch number two (you did mean two separate watches, right?  not one being both a focus item and enchanted item?), pencil, and potions would require you having free hands.  None of the items are likely to work in running water and potions could be ruined entirely.  Then you have Kamori's "yoink" spell that she used on the book in DB.  Or the possibility that going into what was supposed to be a social situation visibly loaded for bear is likely to cause serious issues.

I'm not saying the GM should nerf their ability to be used but giving you enough headaches using them that the character isn't scene stealing every time wouldn't be a bad part of a solution.  It would even be a good way to gather up fate points if you had an aspect like More Stuff Than I Can Keep Track Of.  Which might be invoked to find it anyway if you missed a Lore role on having the potion you were looking for.  Or something similar.  That's just off the top of my head, feel free to modify as you see fit.

I think these suggestions are decent (I particularly like the Aspect suggestion, see next paragraph), but I'd want to throw out a general caution about using ad-hoc rules to address potential balance issues.  Tying down a dedicated Crafter with some house rules may seem like a good idea, but if the net effect is to make Crafting not worth the pain for his generalist Wizard friend, you're probably using too much of the wrong solution.  A good rule should be a good rule in most of the places it's likely to come up, or it's a bad rule (not ALL of the places, just most).  If you're telling your Crafter that he's got to take penalties for juggling equipment, make sure the gun bunny pure mortal guy is doing the same thing if he's packing a ton of heat.

For practitioners generally, I strongly encourage looking at the Blind Spots sidebar on YS179.  Naturally, your High Concept is going to reference the fact that you're a practitioner, and it will be available whenever you're doing the magic thing.  Picking a normal Aspect that clarifies your specific style reinforces your strengths and suggests opportunities for additional compels (Harry's "Not So Subtle, Still Quick To Anger" or Molly's "Subtlety Is Its Own Power").  If your character is the type of focused prodigy that has every available point of refresh sunk into spellcasting, adding a second normal Aspect might be warranted (Harry's "My Mother's Silver Pentacle").

The Mighty Buzzard's suggestion of "More Stuff Than I Can Keep Track Of" should give you a great deal of leeway in your Lore Declarations to have just exactly the right oddball item on you (especially if you use a FP to Invoke for Effect), and also gives you the chance to self-compel on "dammit, I can't seem to find my [useful item]" as needed.  For instance, let's say a challenge shows up, and the Crafter says, "Lore Declaration, I made [useful potion X] earlier."  The GM responds, "Sure, but you've got More Stuff Than You Can Keep Track Of, and I think you left that one on the rack by the door in your lab (holding up a FP token)."  The Crafter says, "Huh, you're right, I can't seem to find it in my backpack (accepts the token), but hey look!  I'd forgotten about this!  (slides the token back to the GM)  An extra bottle of [useful potion Y, suggesting a different way around whatever the challenge was]."  Compel accepted; followed by an Invoke for Effect.

Offline gojj

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 532
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:06:16 PM »
Once again thank you all for your input and once again I apologize for the confusion in the Enchanted Item department, I just gave them simple names hoping it would make things...well..simpler.

You might consider house ruling that potions cause nasty side effects if used more than one per scene (Storm Front).  In fact, that wouldn't be a bad addition to the RAW as it's definitively canon.

The pocket watch number two (you did mean two separate watches, right?  not one being both a focus item and enchanted item?)
To be honest I thought the two potion at once was already somewhere in the rules because it was (like you said) clearly in the novels. Now that I think about it I don't think that I ever saw it in the YS or OW, I just assumed. But yes I agree that should be the case, especially since my guy's potions are two to three times more powerful than Dresden's. And yes they are different watches...I didn't notice that I had two of them, will change that now to avoid confusion.

I'm not saying the GM should nerf their ability to be used but giving you enough headaches using them that the character isn't scene stealing every time wouldn't be a bad part of a solution.  It would even be a good way to gather up fate points if you had an aspect like More Stuff Than I Can Keep Track Of.  Which might be invoked to find it anyway if you missed a Lore role on having the potion you were looking for.  Or something similar.  That's just off the top of my head, feel free to modify as you see fit.

I also like the thought of adding an aspect that can be compelled so I don't have the right potion. To be honest I always struggle with aspects, they always seem to either be difficult to get compelled from or difficult for me to invoke with a chip, I have trouble finding the balance, and of course they also should be cool and/or interesting. I included an aspect referencing my plethora of both Enchanted Items and potions "I'm a human Swiss Army Knife", but now that I look at it I see that it cannot really be used by the GM to compel me that I'm missing the current needed potion. I thought about "Just the right stuff", I can use it to declare that yes I do have just the right stuff, or the GM can compel me saying that no, you do not have just the right stuff at this moment.

Offline Pbartender

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 07:32:55 PM »
I included an aspect referencing my plethora of both Enchanted Items and potions "I'm a human Swiss Army Knife", but now that I look at it I see that it cannot really be used by the GM to compel me that I'm missing the current needed potion. I thought about "Just the right stuff", I can use it to declare that yes I do have just the right stuff, or the GM can compel me saying that no, you do not have just the right stuff at this moment.

Honestly, those are going be tough for the GM to compel is any sort of negative fashion.

Ideally, you'd want an aspect that can be construed both positively and negatively and also one that can be used in various ways in different situations.  Take, for example, the aspect "Magical Pack Rat"...  You can compel it yourself to be certain that you have just the right potion handy.  The GM can compel it to make it take longer to find that perfect potion, amongst all the other junk you've got floating around your extradimensional purse.  The GM can compel it to force you to take extra time searching for and collecting (nearly) useless magical trinkets.  The GM can also compel it to get you pick up something that magically suspect or dangerous against your better judgement.  You can compel it to make certain you actually have the Chekov's Gun that nobody thought to pick up earlier, but is practically necessary solve the current dilemma.  And so on...

Offline EdgeOfDreams

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 332
    • View Profile
Re: PDF vs. book regarding Crafting
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2011, 08:02:50 PM »
The aspect I used for my crafter was "I Prepared for Everything... Except THIS!"