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Old 04-28-2014, 12:19 PM   #9
Kromm
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Default Re: [DF] Artificers questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos View Post

How to make them useful? DF 2 brings guidelines to make every DF 1 delver to shine, but the same doesn't happens in DF 4: Sages and thanks to the complicated and abstract nature of gadgeteer, I think it's really challenger for GMs to make artificers really useful.
The artificer exists for the amusement of a certain kind of gamer, and is worth playing only if the player and GM have a contract that the game will include a lot of fantasy in the vein of dwarven engineering (e.g., early steam-tech), the death machine from The Princess Bride, and monstrous clockworks. It works best if tech and magic are inherently inimical, with effective TL giving a big penalty to spells, as GURPS Cabal discussed years ago; I like -5 to spells per effective TL above TL4. If all problems have easy magical solutions, then no amount of help for the artificer is going to make the profession competitive.

Note also that artificers are intended primarily for cash-poor groups with few casters. They can adapt and improvise the whole gamut of mundane gear. If all the heroes have Vows related to owning little or no gear, or just very low Wealth, and their magical support is a single Poor cleric who mostly has Healing spells, it suddenly becomes very relevant that this one delver can adapt found gear and jury-rig solutions that normally call for expensive tool kits. Rich groups have much less use for an artificer, as do groups full of high-end casters. Like I said: "a certain kind of gamer."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos View Post

Artificer's Power-up, Spellsmith (DF 11, p. 18), allow them to modifier magic item's enchantments. But the penalties of -1 per $1,000 of the initial enchantment value looks too overwhelming. The listed example is to turn a Fireball wand into a Shape Fire wand. Looking at DF 8 (p. 44) the Fireball enchantment costs $16,000. That said, to change a Fireball wand into a Shape Fire wand would require the roll against the lower of Engineer (Gadgets) and Thaumatology at -16? Is that right or am I missing something? Because that sounds nearly impossible unless you roll a critical success or has Engineer (Gadgets) and Thaumatology, both at level 30+. Can he use Extra Time (B346)? Even so it still looks almost impossible...
In a game where enchantment is unavailable even to wizards, crafting magic items isn't meant to be easy or a primary function of artificers, but rather a high-level trick for artificers who've earned lots of points and want to specialize. Start with Improvisation 5 [25] in order to ignore the first -10 to skill; see Dungeon Fantasy 11, p. 17. Buy a backpack tool kit (Dungeon Fantasy 1, p. 24) with an Equipment Bond (Dungeon Fantasy 4, p. 4) for a further +1. Now the first -11 ($11,000) isn't an issue for you. You'll still need high skills, of course, but it's workable.

There are ways to get even more bonuses: drink a wisdom potion (Dungeon Fantasy 1, p. 29), get a miraculous toolbelt (Dungeon Fantasy 8, p. 41), have a caster put a Bless or Wisdom spell on you, and so on. The GM can certainly allow up to +5 for Time Spent (p. B346). I think that rule is a headache for DF, but taking 30× as long to carry out a task that normally requires 1d×20 minutes – i.e., 1d×10 hours – isn't utterly impossible in town (1d×10 hours is on average about a workweek). The GM would have to decide that it applies to such an esoteric task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos View Post

Still about Spellsmith, the power-up says "the price to have the final spell on an item cannon exceed that of the initial spell." So lets take an example: it's ok if an Artificer modifiers a Fireball wand ($16,000) into a Burning Death wand ($14,000). But what if he wants to change it back into a Fireball wand later? Can he do that? The initial price now would be $14,000 and the final cost would be $16,000. is that so? Or the original price of $16,000 would be maintained?
This process isn't reversible. "Lost" energy stays lost. The new item has no history of previous enchantments to which it can revert. If you go from A to B to C, the existence of A is irrelevant to the B-to-C transition, even if A and C are the same spell.
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