Craft questions

Sorry for more posts, so many questions when creating new characters.

Craft skills this time.

My character wants to craft bows and arrows and also have a reasonable skill as a woodcarver and as a verditius his craft skills are very important.

So far i have taken
Craft (Bowyer)
Craft (Fletcher)
Craft (Woodcarver)

However having looked at the various examples in the main book and mystery cults i'm thinking that bowyer and fletcher are too restrictive as craft skills. After all, other skills mentioned are blacksmith (for a sword maker) and Metal working which seem very much more versatile. After all as a fletcher i can make only arrows and as a bowyer only bows.

So to my question, what would be appropriate craft skills for this character. Would i have to use the trio of skills above or would Craft (woodcarving) specialty Bowyer be more appropriate?

Skills are an XP sinkhole in Ars Magica.
To be any good in your Arts means reducing the number of skills.
(That you potentially want higher than say 05 to 07)

I would introduce a Craft : Weaponcrafter Skill.
This would cover manufacture of melee and missile weapons.
Take a skill specialization as normal ,
e.g. Craft : Weaponcrafter (Bowyer).

If the ST feels that this is too broad a skill (or not historically accurate) ,
then he/she could increase the Ease Factor (or time factor)
to allow for being a Generalist ,
rather than focused on a single weapon craft.

I prefer the Craft (woodworking) styel allowing creation of bows, arrows, staves etc. If you don't intend to have them very high, you can actually save experience taking Bowyer (specific bow you intend to use), and Fletcher (specific type of arrow you intend to use), and with the specialties you're getting a two in both for 10 points, vs 15 in something more general.

That being said, make sure your Storyguide knows what you want, and you both agree so that when the time comes you don't hear "Ok, make a Survival roll to make some arrows" (unless you bought Survival for that).

I have a Pirate Captain in my saga, and there are any amount of skills he could take to reflect the fact he's a good Captain. We decided on what we would use (Profession: Ship Captain and Leadership) and now I know what to call for. When he makes his Profession roll to do Captain things, we're all good, and on the rare occasion he needs to actually "do" something on the ship, I call for his Profession at a minus.

I'm definately going to do the craft: woodcarver route.

You are so right about Skills being an XP Sinkhole Ravenscroft, I genned up this character last night and thought i'd finished spending my skill points, had to make a number of compromises and trimmed back on a few things. Then i realised i hadn't purchased my arts out of that same pool.

Unfortunately i'm intending to take the craft skills quite high (i am a verditious you know) and probably add to them later.

Thanks for the input.

If you take Craft: Bowyer, I'd let you make arrows for the same price. If you take Woodcarver, I'd probably let you make arrows too, if you also have a Bow skill (so that you know how arrows should be balanced, etc), but definitely not make the bows themselves.

Craft skills may overlap, there's nothing wrong with that.

Thats a nice solution Fruny. Kind of have Bowyer and fletcher rolled together and wood carver as a seperate skill.

I'll use that.

Woodcarving is taking a piece of wood and shaping cabinets, railings etc....
Carving is the process of taking chisels, and a formed piece of wood and rounding edges, cutting designs, and generally enhancing the woods looks. Of course there is a decision on what piece of wood will cut best, and yield the best work...
Bow making is the the process of finding the correct wood, (yes) carving it, heating drying, bending etc.
Arrow making is s similar process. You need to find the correct wood, dry it, and shape it.

Both of these activities require a decision making process...the more you do it the better your decision process becomes.

I have personally done all the above and though you are working with the same material, the whole process is different...
Having said that, you are of course free to do as you see fit.


If I may...having high craft scores are great....having high MT and Philosophy scores are even better.
(I have a Verditius about 150 seasons out of Gauntlet...)
Yeah, I know the craft reduces the cost of manufacturing...but the simple flexibility of having the points in MT and Philosophy are better..
A High MT score enables you to put more materials and Vis into the item.
A High Philosophy score adds to your lab total
If you get Elder Runes, these multiply...

Consider: What happens the first time you have to make a sword or a ring? ( :open_mouth: How come that costs so much? Gee how come my lab total is so low?)

My Queens worth..