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Why there's crafting in WOW and not in D&D

Staffan

Adventurer
Forked from: Just played my first 4E game

Fenes said:
It's kind of sad when limited computer games have a more robust and more flexible crafting system than D&D. And reducing everything relevant to magic is even sadder.
The reason you can have a "more robust and flexible" crafting system in WoW than in D&D is that the WoW system is centered around grinding materials.
For example, in order to make a Thorium Rifle, you need:

  • 2 Mithril Tubes
    • 6 Mithril Bars
      • 6 Mithril Ore
  • 2 Mithril Casings
    • 6 Mithril Bars
      • 6 Mithril Ore
  • 2 Thorium Widgets
    • 6 Thorium Bars
      • 6 Thorium Ore
    • 2 Runecloth
  • 4 Thorium Bars
    • 4 Thorium Ore
  • 1 Deadly Scope
    • 1 Mithril Tube
      • 3 Mithil Bars
        • 3 Mithril Ore
    • 2 Aquamarines
    • 2 Thick leather
That is, the raw materials total:

  • 15 Mithril ore
  • 10 Thorium ore
  • 2 Runecloth
  • 2 Aquamarines
  • 2 Thick Leather
Getting that material requires spending a lot of time in-game running around mining nodes (for the ores and gems), killing people in order to get cloth, and skinning animals to get the leather. Some of that can be deferred to others (by buying stuff at the auction house), but that just means someone else invested that time.

That whole grinding thing doesn't really exist in D&D, or in most other RPGs for that matter (I remember that Rolemaster had rules for locating herbs though). And that's why you can't have a WoW-esque crafting system in D&D.
 

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Fenes

First Post
I was not thinking about WoW, but about SWG. With an in game economy, you simply buy your raw materials from miners, trappers, etc.

That would be possible in D&D as well - add a price list, and add some crafting. You don't have to have PCs gather the materials at all, that can be done by NPCs, aka DM fiat.

(And we have a crafting system in 3E, so it is possible.)
 
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Wormwood

Adventurer
Yes, but WoW crafting generally concerns itself with items that are useful at roughly your level of play.

D&D Craft Skills tend to be about mighty heroes who can make iron pots and 1st-level armor.
 

Yes, but WoW crafting generally concerns itself with items that are useful at roughly your level of play.

D&D Craft Skills tend to be about mighty heroes who can make iron pots and 1st-level armor.

For basic craft skills yes. Item creation feats let you craft stuff that is more level appropriate.
 


C.W.Richeson

Explorer
MMOs use crafting systems to extend the play experience. In fact, a great many of their features incorporate ways to delay players from reaching the 'end' and thereby increasing revenue.

Plenty of RPGs have systems for creating goods, from gadgets (Spirit of teh Century) to simple book items (D&D 3.0).
 

MMOs use crafting systems to extend the play experience. In fact, a great many of their features incorporate ways to delay players from reaching the 'end' and thereby increasing revenue.
EverQuest II and Horizons even made crafting, at least initially, a theoretically fully viable way to play the game in lieu of being an adventurer. Late in its life, Ultima Online advertised the ability to be a medieval baker on the package, aiming the game at the "fantasy sim" crowd (which was good, since the overall gaming world was kind of hosed from all sorts of unintended effects of earlier parts of the game).

I'm confident we're going to see multiple optional crafting systems for 4E, both from WotC and third party publishers, for the people who like that.

Honestly, to me, a bigger issue in D&D is that the game never had drinking rules, despite the cliche of everyone spending every waking moment in taverns, like well-armed extras from Cheers.
 

Boarstorm

First Post
"Vellis the Bold? You are him, are you not? The wizard who single-handedly slew the tribe of hobgoblins up near Keldan Ridge?"
"I am."
"Sir, I come to you on behalf of the peaceful villagers of Hommlet who have a problem quite dire. It seems that cultists of a bizarre elemental deity have --"
"Sorry, can't."
"Pardon?"
"Working on my blacksmithing. I need to make another 19 of these iron longswords to get a skillup, which means I'm going to have to head up into the mountains for a few weeks to gather the ore."
"I'm certain the good people of Hommlet would reward you with all the iron you could want in exchange for driving off--"
"Nah. In another two skillups I'm going to need adamantite anyway."
"They'll happily build you a workshop, good sir, and the town would be overjoyed to have a powerful wizard in residence to help defend against--"
"Workshop? Pssshaw. See that pile of hot coals over there? And that anvil? That's all I need."
"But that belongs to--"
"He doesn't mind."
"Sir, please, without your aid--"
"Hey, go bother Roth. He's a skinner, he might need to kill the local sheep or something."
"But... but..."
You are now being ignored by Vellis.
 

Tervin

First Post
Honestly, to me, a bigger issue in D&D is that the game never had drinking rules, despite the cliche of everyone spending every waking moment in taverns, like well-armed extras from Cheers.

My weird old memory frowned and spoke to me of drinking rules in the AD&D 1 DMG. And what do you know! On pages 82-83 you find "EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS". Very far from the best rules I have seen in an a game though. :) Basically it could be a very good way to keep your henchmen from running away...
 


Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
I have never played WoW, but from what I gather, grinding for materials is a rather solitary experience.

In D&D, there's usually around four people at the table. As much as it is annoying for the rest of the group if one player grabs the spotlight by being an actual thief, robbing houses and merchants and all that, any amount of interesting (ie. more than a roll or two) crafting will get the others players bored quick.

For me: Bye crafting rules, and good riddance.
 
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Yes, but Item Creation is so incredibly simple and streamlined in 4e that I assumed we were talking about craft skills. Or verismilitude. Or something.

I might have to take another look at the rules then. Are there crafting rules for making magic items that does not require the "poop" of other items? If not then how were the first items made?
 

4E IS NOT A VIDEO GAME!!! I four won dont understand how people can think this one is played on the computer and the other played at the table!!!

The OP absolutely understands the difference. As a matter of fact, he is discussing the differences between the two. Specifically, why the computer game has something better than the table game does, when it seems that it it should be easier (logically and historically) to do it in the table game.

I four won dont understand why discussing two different interactive, level based, combat oriented fantasy games at the same time is so much of a afront to you.
 

ProfessorCirno

First Post
Yes, but WoW crafting generally concerns itself with items that are useful at roughly your level of play.

D&D Craft Skills tend to be about mighty heroes who can make iron pots and 1st-level armor.

So alter crafting to better show this. Fix it by fixing it, don't fix it by neutering it.
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
I might have to take another look at the rules then. Are there crafting rules for making magic items that does not require the "poop" of other items? If not then how were the first items made?
Enchant Magic Item: You touch a normal item and turn it into a magic item of your level or lower. The ritual’s component cost is equal to the price of the magic item you create.

That's it. Period.

If you want to use residuum in your game, then you just apply it toward the ritual's cost. But that's completely optional.
 
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Wormwood

Adventurer
So alter crafting to better show this. Fix it by fixing it, don't fix it by neutering it.
They did fix it. You can easily make any magic item appropriate to your level---without blowing experience points or investing in a ton of feats.

What they jettisonned was a fairly useless skill and its related subsystem that added precisely zip to the vast majority of D&D games.
 
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Nymrohd

First Post
Technically the components of a ritual can be a lot of things. The alchemical reagents required in Arcana rituals can certainly be things included in treasure parcels. A creative DM can trade gold, art, or even magic items from a treasure parcel for an equivalent ammount of ritual components. Certainly residuum is quick and easy, but if you are killing a creature anyway, you might as well harvest the parts of it that are useful and add them to treasure. Especially in a low magic campaign, I'd disqualify residuum altogether, and would require that players track down some power components for certain of the more powerful items, since said components simply would never be in stock. Even in the normally high magic campaigns of 4E I doubt that you would easily be able to find the power components of 30th level items anywhere outside Sigil or the City of Brass, and even there you might well have to wait a long while till they'd be available.
In short if you want to complicate and elaborate on crafting, it is dead easy to do so.
 


They did fix it. You can easily make any magic item appropriate to your level---without blowing experience points or investing in a ton of feats.

What they jettisonned was a fairly useless skill and its related subsystem that added precisely zip to the vast majority of D&D games.

Craft skills can be easily added back in no problem. The skill system itself with no degrees of expertise beyond trained/untrained is a bit coarse. Specializing in some skills at the expense of others was a customization tool that many miss.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
Honestly, to me, a bigger issue in D&D is that the game never had drinking rules, despite the cliche of everyone spending every waking moment in taverns, like well-armed extras from Cheers.

Warhammer and even The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge) have this covered. Maybe the Disease Track in 4E could be abused to re-create that...

Now that I think about - most definitely it can be used - 4E even has a skill covering it now, and it's Endurance!



Unless I invent a Craft system for 4E or WotC creates one, I think I will use the existing "Knowledge" Skills, specifically History (default for most crafts), Dungeoneering (mining, traps) and Nature (anything with animal handling, some traps). I probably won't invent a 1:1 table for all possible Crafts and allow a Craft to fall under multiple skills.
 

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