I really like the rules for crafting in City and Guild, but I have one question. The table says that, for example, a craftsman can make two standard greatswords in a season. But what if he wanted to make a higher quality item? Could he, for example, focus on making only one greatsword of a higher quality instead of the two standard ones? Or is it always two swords?
If a character wanted to make higher-quality items than he normally could, he would use the workshop exertion rules from page 73-74.
I believe the wording from the Klaus example may be incorrect, although it does raise a good point. The table from page 68 doesn't really address how adding additional workers would adjust the production speed. For my money, I'd treat Klaus as having an effective Craft score of 6 (base) +2 (puissant) + 4 (half assistant's abilities) = 12. By that logic, in one season they could make 12/5 * 2 = 4.8, rounds to 5 excellent greatswords. Now, you could make the argument that the assistants don't allow him to make the swords any faster, they just allow him to make a better product by raising his workshop total. This may be more in line with what you're asking, since now Klaus has the option of making a few (7/5*2 = 2.8 ~ 3) excellent greatswords, or allowing his assistants to work on their own and making a larger number of standard quality swords.
Then again, I think I'm less likely to use the seasonal production chart to determine how many swords get made in a season ("a blacksmith produces more than just hoes..."), and more when the players say, "We need 17 suits of chainmail. How long will it take Bill to make that?"
I was confused too when it came to the Klaus Workshop example on page 75. I read again and again to get around the production rate vs the production quality problem and i'm still not certain what i would do. Behing a fairly generous SG i think i would allow my PC to add half of their assistant craft ability to their total to produce excellent swords (i would allow that until one of my player abuse the rules). IMO, the assistant, even if their not able to do the complete excellent swords by themselve, can make their master gain a fairly amount of to accelerate his prodution (thus the half their craft score addition). Of course, the day i see a player with leadership 7 having something like 14 assistant i'll just give him the look and house rule something else.
I'm just glad someone came up with that question because i was a little deperate with this.
I think you have the following trade-off: if you get assisted by journeymen and apprentices, you can produce better quality items, if you let them work on their own, you have a greater total output based on each craftsman's individual skill.
One possibility if you want varying production speeds could be to base it on how much margin you have over the item quality you are targeting rather than on straight skill. This would give a reason for a crooked craftsman to produce shoddy goods even when able to produce excellent ones.
While these comments deserve a response, I can't right now. I'm swamped with other projects and can't promise that I'll find the time to address this properly until the end of the month.
There is a very good chance that I made a mistake, either in the Klaus example, or in the actual rules section. The published version is the third stab at creating crafting rules, and I might not have carried the revisions over into the example. My apologies.
It is nice to hear that folks are using the rules, however. Thank you very much and I hope you continue to enjoy the book.
Thanks everyone for bringing this up. I mistakenly wrote "an excellent quality greatsword" in the Klaus's Workshop example; it should read "two excellent quality greatswords."
Others are also correct, in that there are no rules for substituting production quality for production rate. The assumption is that, instead of making more of an item, a better craftsman makes a better item. While medieval craftsmen certainly realized that making more of a particular good meant selling more, the idea that "more is better" is more within the modern paradigm of consumer consumption rather than the medieval idea of "quality craftsmanship." To keep a medieval flavor, I shied away from rules that allowed craftsmen to produce vast amounts of product.
You'll have to invent your own rules to allow a superiorly skilled craftsman to make more goods than allowed on the Seasonal Production Chart (C&G, p. 68). I'd use some type of ratio. For each point of Workshop Total above the Craft Level for standard goods (6) I'd allow a fractional increase to the amount produced. This would probably need to be calculated on a case-by-case level, for specific goods. Doubling the standard Craft Level could allow a craftsman to produce double the amount of product in a season. However, I wouldn't let him double his accumulated Labor Points for that season. In effect, he is working to the best of his ability, which every craftsman is assumed to be doing.
Just wanted to thank these forums: I had this exact question come up today, and lo and behold the answer was waiting for me after a little search! Confidence points all around. (as the Diameter Duration thread necromancy expires....)
Just to follow Matt Ryan's directive to cloud the issue (and employ some Necromancy), I note that a Craftsman making something has its production time doubled for every 10 ranks in Craft (Art and Academe), meaning that a craftsman with Craft 11 actually works at 1/2 speed due to how wonderful his production is.
My reading of the game mechanics is that a distinction is made between "works of art" and items-with-utility that happen to have some artistic merit. The former use the artistic creation mechanics from Art & Academe, the latter use the crafting mechanics from City & Guild.