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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Dec 2013

    Default Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    There are a lot of very good reasons to dislike the Craft skill, but what gets me--more than anything--is that the Craft skill is horribly open-ended. There's no defined list of what is an acceptable craft choice, and the suggestions in D&D's published material ranges from really broad to absurdly specific.

    With the defined list of Knowledge skills, it is possible for a character to know everything. With the defined list of Perform skills, it's possible for one character to master every type of performance. Obviously, that's not a wise investment of skill points, but it is possible. With the addition of Complete Warrior's Perform (weapon drill), there are ten subcategories of the Perform skill. There are ten subcategories of Knowledge. Eleven, if we wish to include Knowledge (psionics), and fourteen if we really push it and consider Martial Lore, Psicraft, and Spellcraft to be Knowledge skills in disguise.

    Can we devise a sensible list of Craft subcategories that encompasses the full array of human creation, just as the defined list of Knowledge skills allows a character to know everything?

    ...And no, Craft (anything) does not count. Full points for elegance, though.

    I'll start us off. There are a few craft subcategories that are often referenced and actually have rules in their favour. Starting with them seems reasonable: Alchemy, armorsmithing, bowmaking, poisonmaking, trapmaking, weaponsmithing. We're already at a lot of subcategories. Building off that, we could either make further categories based off techniques, or materials. I'll go with common materials: Leatherworking, metalworking, stoneworking, woodworking. At this point it might be reasonable to nix armorsmithing and the like, as being covered by a reasonable investment in leather- and metalworking. Now we've already got a big list, and it's down to broad strokes to fill in the blanks, hopefully covering the remainder of creation: Ceramic arts, textile arts, and visual arts. Getting cheeky there, with visual arts encompassing a lot of works. Then musical composition and written composition for the poets and playwrights.

    My first attempt at a defined craft list ends up as such:
    Alchemy
    Armorsmithing
    Bowmaking
    Ceramic Arts
    Leatherworking
    Metalworking
    Musical Composition
    Poisonmaking
    Stoneworking
    Textile Arts
    Trapmaking
    Visual Arts
    Weaponsmithing
    Woodworking
    Written Composition

    15 Craft (blurgh) skills in all. Still really hefty compared to Knowledge and Perform. And I'm sure you can all point out things that aren't covered by those categories, feel like some are too broad, and still some are too narrow. Like Bowmaking--really? You're included only because you're in the PHB. Let's think about getting the Craft skill as well-structured as its better-designed brethren.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Alas, my only choice for getting bread is to find it in the wilderness. How I miss thee, craft (food).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Aegis View Post
    Alas, my only choice for getting bread is to find it in the wilderness. How I miss thee, craft (food).
    ****.

    Let's call it "Culinary arts", to appease any chefs offended by their exclusion, and pretend that never happened.
    Last edited by ApologyFestival; 2015-05-22 at 03:16 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jul 2014

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    I want to slap whomever decided that poisons weren't included in alchemy.

    Same for bows and weapon smithing.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    How about the 3rd-party stuff?
    Ravenloft, Warcraft the RPG, Call of Cthulhu d20, Star Wars D20...

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    How about the 3rd-party stuff?
    Ravenloft, Warcraft the RPG, Call of Cthulhu d20, Star Wars D20...
    I think that's covered under Craft (Franchise RPG).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    OMG don't forget underwater basket weaving

    in real world terms, metalworking can be very different skills, you got your basic blacksmith for iron working and tool making, then some specialize even further, armorsmithing, bladesmiths, silversmiths, gold smiths

    then woodworking too, you have woodcarvers, cabinet makers, wheelwrights, coopers, similar skillsets, but more some are more focused in certain areas

    brewing is another skill, then there is the vintner (winemaker), both make alcohols but with different methods

    I had a character with ivory carving as skill, I had another with perform(drunken singing), lol

    stone work and gemcarving, while working with similar materials, require different skill sets

    then there are odd skills like farrier, that combines the skills of blacksmith and needs animal handling too, buts that getting into Profesion which is parallel to craft skills, professions require skills of certain types, not necessarilay in game terms but in real world terms at least

    craft can really be for anything your making, that's why its open ended, for PCs its mostly for flavor unless you do a lot of crafting that requires the skills
    for npcs and followers sometimes, it can be an important skill to get the PCs the stuff they need

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Craft skills which were mentioned in Arms and Equipment Guide, Chapter 4: Hirelings and Creatures:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Blacksmithing
    Bookbinding
    Brassmaking
    Brewing
    Candlemaking
    Coppersmithing
    Dyemaking
    Gemcutting
    Goldsmithing
    Hatmaking
    Hornworking
    Jewelmaking
    Locksmithing
    Mapmaking
    Milling
    Painting
    Parchmentmaking
    Pewtermaking
    Potterymaking
    Sculpting
    Shipmaking
    Shoemaking
    Silversmithing
    Skinning
    Soapmaking
    Tanning
    Weaving
    Winemaking
    Wheelmaking


    D20 Modern have Craft skills:
    Chemical
    Electronic
    Mechanical
    Pharmaceutical
    Structural
    Writing

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by ComaVision View Post
    I want to slap whomever decided that poisons weren't included in alchemy.

    Same for bows and weapon smithing.
    IIRC, there's a rule somewhere that allows poisons to be bundled into alchemy with a bump in the DC. (I'm happy they aren't though, because my big beef with alchemy is that it is the only craft skill that requires spellcasting, which means that the group that has the least use for the skill is the only one with access to it. I also like making poison using non-mage characters)
    Last edited by mabriss lethe; 2015-05-23 at 12:41 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Well I've got 10.

    Blacksmithing: all metal
    Woodworking: carpentry, bows, etc.
    Alchemy: chemistry, poisons, etc.
    Weaving: textiles, baskets, etc.
    Ceramic Arts
    Visual Arts: Painting, sketching, etc.
    Mineral working: blocks, bricks, tunneling, gemcutting (a stretch but oh well)
    Mechanisms: Traps, catapults, etc. Note that woodworking, stoneworking and/or blacksmithing may also be required. Or outsourcing these tasks.
    Culinary: Cooking, chef artistry, even gutting and gilling
    Animal: Leatherworking, ivory, horns, etc.

    Composition omitted becauese it's blurry. Once you allow it you might include crafting a million kinds of plans. Probably better to fold musical composition under playing music and written composition under other written skills. Maybe not everyone who plays music well can compose well and vis versa, but they do overlap and that's too much detail for D&D.

    I'm not sure getting into great detail is all that useful for craft since it's almost never useful to PCs. Takes too long and the items are too cheap. Faster and easier to kill a monster, take its gold and buy the item. Craft is mainly good for NPCs.

    Categorized the below
    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    Craft skills which were mentioned in Arms and Equipment Guide, Chapter 4: Hirelings and Creatures:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Blacksmithing
    Bookbinding: alchemy (glue)
    Brassmaking: blacksmithing
    Brewing: culinary arts
    Candlemaking: ?
    Coppersmithing: blacksmithing
    Dyemaking: alchemy
    Gemcutting: mineral working
    Goldsmithing: blacksmithing
    Hatmaking: weaving
    Hornworking: Animal
    Jewelmaking: mineral working
    Locksmithing: mechanisms
    Mapmaking: This is a composition, so part of knowledge(geography) or some other not a craft
    Milling: culinary arts
    Painting: visual arts
    Parchmentmaking: animal (made from animal skins)
    Pewtermaking: blacksmithing
    Potterymaking: ceramic arts
    Sculpting: ceramic arts
    Shipmaking: woodworking with a little mechanisms
    Shoemaking: animal and/or weaving
    Silversmithing: blacksmithing
    Skinning: animal
    Soapmaking: alchemy
    Tanning: animal
    Weaving: weaving
    Winemaking: culinary arts
    Wheelmaking: woodworking
    Sure NPCS may specialize and be able to do one part of a category and not the rest. But (a) it doesn't take as much to learn one subcategory and (b) again this already getting into too much detail. We don't need to point out that someone is especially good at steel and not much else any more than we need to point out that he specializes only in punching daggers and can barely remember how to properly wrap an axe handle.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2015-05-23 at 01:28 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
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    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    My house list is:

    C/metal (includes copper, bronze, tin, and precious metals)
    C/wood (includes plastics and fibre glass)
    C/stone (includes pottery, ceramics, and masonry)
    C/leather (includes cloth, silk, weaving, and stitch-work)

    I add the following in suitably advanced-technology campaigns:

    C/explosives (dynamite, grenades, muskets, and modern rifles)
    C/clockwork (includes wheels, levers, hinges, and pulleys)
    C/mechanic (includes steam engines through to internal combustion and turbines)
    C/electronic (includes anything up to and including computers)
    C/atomics (nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, force screens)
    C/weird science (time travel, warp drives, transdimensional collapsitrons)

    Alchemy is separate to this (I classify it as part of K/chemistry), and includes poisons. I assume any PC can cook basic food (ie. they have the equivalent knowledge for their time period of knowing how to make toast, use a microwave, and add boiling water to something). Masterchef-type stuff is an art rather than a craft.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2015-05-23 at 05:02 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Golemcrafting often includes craft skill prerequisites. A quick check turns up pottery, sculpting, metalworking, glass-making, leatherworking, and stonemasonry. I'm sure there are more.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Article "Class Acts Body Modifications" (Dragon #359) have Craft (Body Modifications)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    I know I've seen Craft(Painting) mentioned specifically, along with Craft(Sewing) and Craft(Poisonmaking). There's no real consistency, book to book, to what is and isn't a Craft subcategory.
    "A Grandmaster doesn't say he's a Grandmaster. Other people say it for him."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    What's the difference between Alchemy and Poisonmaking?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by SinsI View Post
    What's the difference between Alchemy and Poisonmaking?
    Essentially, the difference between making gold in a crucible and making cyanide in a crucible :)

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Craft is fairly arbitrary, unfortunately. Heck, Petals (MM3) by default have ranks in Craft (Flower-Arranging).

    A merciful GM usually just lets you use craft skills for whatever makes sense though, thankfully. I know I do when I'm GMing.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2015-05-27 at 08:34 AM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creating a Condensed List of Craft Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    A merciful GM usually just lets you use craft skills for whatever makes sense though, thankfully. I know I do when I'm GMing.
    Star Wars D20
    Rothana Heavy Engineering Acclamator-class assault ship -
    Craft (capital ships) DCs: 30 to final check, 29000000 to make

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