Am I alone in thinking Craft doesn’t get much love? All these sourcebooks, and not a single Archetype has it as their main skill. I would have thought The Exiles would at least have presented one. In two years of playing and GMing, I can actually count on one hand the number of times someone has had to make a Craft test. I’m curious, is this a throw-away skill in your campaigns? Anybody have a Craft-focused player character to share? How is/was it?
I have played a character with emphasis on Craft quite often. You can construct a lot of things in and out of combat. You can find weaknesses in structures and exploit those.
My favorite combination was a crafter with the Archer archetype. I could shoot arrows to cut the rigging of a ship after finding the weakest spot, etc.
Many of my characters invest in the Craft skill as it is very useful.
But I don’t like the take on “crafting” from the Exiles sourcebook at all. Conan Exiles as a game is in my opinion nearly the opposite of a Conan-like Sword&Sorcey fantasy game. Grinding resources and crafting stuff - that is not Conan at all for me.
The Craft skill in the Conan 2d20 game is just right for what makes it useful for an adventurer character.
Thanks! I’ve always felt that a Craft character could be really cool, but it’s never worked out in character creation as the most viable option. My groups have always used random character creation. I’ve created dozens of characters just for fun, and I find it hardest to end up with high-intelligence characters in general. Having no archetype using Craft as its main skill, I always seem to end up with more talents and ranks in other skills at the end of character creation, even if I try to focus on the Craft tree. I just find it odd.
You’re perfectly tight about Exiles. It’s unique among the sourcebooks in that it’s meant to emulate a video game about survival and crafting, rather than REH’s stories. I’m a fan of the video game and The Exiles looks fun to me, but it is a different game. I just thought that if a crafting archetype would appear nowhere else, it would at least be in that book. It seems Modiphius went out of its way to exclude archetypes focusing on Craft and I wonder why.
In our "pirate " campaign, the captain had quite a bit of craft skill and ended up using it quite a bit, Sadly that player left the group but the next captain player had some but not nearly as much. I really like the 2d20 take on lots of the skills though and this one is no exception.
Good point. Conan the Pirate makes a loot of room to use this skill. Thank you!
My son plays a sorcerer. When he crafts exploding powders, we agreed those were like ‘glass grenades’ requiring a ‘craft’ roll to create a two-chamber container for the substances themselves ; the idea being that when the sphere breaks, both powders would mingle and initiate the desired reaction (i.e. the effect of the spell). I realize this may come across as a bit heavy but he was totally on board with it. What this means in-game is that he would need 2 rolls: ‘alchemy’ to grind the powders themselves and ‘craft’ to create the container.
Thanks for sharing! I’d say 2 skill tests to craft 1 petty enchantment is a little punishing, but there’s nothing wrong with some players liking it that way. And hey, it’s a chance to score to extra Momentum!
In fact, it gives me some inspiration. What if there were Craft talents improving on Alchemy? Maybe something like what you and your son do, but with a mechanical benefit for rolling that extra check, like bonus momentum on your test to use the petty enchantment?
Theme of campaign may also play a role as to how important Craft is. For example, I am putting together a Scout campaign in Aquilonia against the Pictish Wilderness and for this theme, I feel crafting and de-crafting structures is going to play heavily into the Frontier hexploration campaign (hexcrawling the Pictish Wilderness but not Aquilonia).
Craft should be used for tests occurring on or near siege engines, masonry, or scaffolding. For example, when an archer with flaming arrows wants to make an exploit action to set a siege engine or other wooden structure on fire (they want the Piercing 2 and potential extra d20 and combat die rolls) I would have them attempt the D1 roll Craft, not Observation, as the archer needs to know how the structure is put together in order to make an effective attack on it. Likewise, if the archer was doing the same thing against a ship, I would have them roll the D1 test against Sailing, not Observation.
Especially suited for Exploit actions using Craft is the Sabotage! Talent:
When an Exploit Action is taken using the Craft skill, Sabotage! grants bonus Momentum equal to your Craft Skill Focus.
This is very useful if you have a decent Craft skill with high Focus.
You guys have all really opened my eyes to the possible uses for this skill! I still have a lot of trouble getting high-INT characters out of the random generation process, but I feel like I know what to look for if things seem to be going that way. I’m really interested in trying it now. Thanks everyone!
Talking about crafting in the Hyborian era setting, any thoughts on levels of beer crafting? For example, was there good note taking or trial and error? What about cold storage? Were adding hops to add longevity widely known?
As beer is one of the oldest types of alcoholic drink, I would assume this fits many cultures in the Hyborean age, too.
I think it’s safe to say cultures as advanced as those in the Hyborean age would have known a fair bit about beer as it’s one of man’s oldest technologies, as old as bread. We have archaeological evidence of beer 7,000 years ago in Iran, 6,000 years ago in Sumeria, and 5,000 years ago in China. (Fun fact: there’s also surviving artwork from ancient Sumeria that seems to depict people using straws. lol https://footprintus.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Sumerians.jpg)
From what I can find online, hops started seeing use as a preservative in Europe around the 9th century AD. By the 1200’s it was commonplace. Since the Hyboreans are technologically advanced enough to have galleons, crossbows, basic gunpowder and distillation (these last two inferred by references in the Corebook regarding alchemy), which are all technologies that reached Europe in or after the 9th century (probably, I think), I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they’d have had the opportunity to perfect the art of beer brewing, if you want them to.
As for cold storage, I know lager is a relatively new invention, as it was a novelty in America when German immigrants brought it here. Before refrigeration technology, lager, which is distinct from ale because it brews at a lower temperature, was sometimes stored in mountain caves during the fermentation process. Any medieval tavern would have had a cellar, even as simple as a covered pit in the earth, where the soil is cool and the beer can be kept out of the heat and light of the sun.
I’ve heard the Aesir are know for their Lagers but the Vanir think it is a drink fit only for children and prefer a new style of heavily hopped beer which will survive the long voyage from Vaneheim round to Vendhya…
Just to add my two cents, I’ve been a home brewer for about 25 years now and have done way more reading about beer than anyone really should.
Alcoholic drinks made from malted barley(and other grains), yeast, and other fermentables have been around a long time. The role of yeast in the process has been known for only the past few hundred years. Before this brewers just knew they had to place some of the dregs from the last brew into the new batch to get it to ferment. Some brewers didn’t even do this. They let the natural yeast in the air settle on the wort and start the fermentation. Some are still brewed this way. Mainly Geuze from Belgium. Can be very sour. Most beers before recent times probably were a little sour due to the role of souring bacteria. Having a good strong fermentation kept the bacteria from taking over and ensured better tasting beer. Plus beer is drank quickly after being made and bacteria work slowly compared to yeast.
Ale is probably the oldest beverage of this type still produced. Lots of different t herbs and spices were added to balance the sweetness of the malt and alcohol. Ale flavored with hops was originally called beer and became the most popular for a number of reasons. Lagers use a strain of yeast that ferments at colder Temps and leaves a cleaner flavor. They are also traditionally lagered for weeks to months at cold Temps to smooth them out, hence the name. Lagers can be just as hoppy or hoppier than ales.
Hops were probably added originally as a preservative. Everybody probably knows the story of IPA and the East India Trading Company. The low alcohol content of beer doesn’t keep it as stable as stronger alcohols although there are some really strong beers ie barley wine. Normally, beer was drank fairly quickly after brewing. It was drawn off the dregs and casked before fermentation was 100% complete in order to carbonate it. Once the cask is opened, it must be drank within about 24 hours or it goes flat since it was pushed out with air and not co2 like today’s casks.
Anyway, seeing a thread about beer got my OCD going. Love to talk beer.
Hey, since we’re going off topic anyway, maybe you can give me some advice. I’m a new homebrewer, I’ve done one batch of beer which was a disaster because I botched the roast, then decided to use my kit for much easier cider, of which I’ve had two highly successful (and potent) single-gallon batches!
Last night, I went to bottle my third cider, and I discovered about half a dozen fruit flies had crawled through the vents in my 3-piece airlock and drowned in the airlock itself. I’ve seen one or two buzzing around my room in the past weeks and wondered what the heck they were doing there. It never occurred to me the fumes from the airlock would attract them. I went ahead and bottled it anyway, seeing as nothing visible got through the airlock, and I’d already spent the day sanitizing everything… and I figure if it’s disgusting after secondary I can just dump it then.
So, first question: WTF, fruit flies? Second: has anything like that happened to you? Third: any tips for preventing that in the future?
Another question. It did occur to me that I could save on buying yeast by reusing the dregs. Is that recommendable? What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve never had flies get into my airlock but I have heard of it. If you had a very vigorous fermentation foam can sometimes be pushed out the airlock which could attract flies if not cleaned quickly after. I would just watch for that and stay with water although some people use vodka or Starsan in their bubbler to prevent bugs or infection. Suckback would be a worry if you do this. Watch for the wort cooling and starting to suck the bubbler liquid into the fermenter. Take the airlock off to release the pressure if you see that happening. I doubt the flies hurt anything. The alcohol should kill anything g they brought in.
You can use the dregs to start a different batch but it only works well if you go straight from one fermentation to another. The yeast will slowly mutate over time and get weaker so it is best to only do this a few times before buying a new batch.
Instead of just reusing the dregs I would recommend washing it and storing it until the next batch. Just take a small amount and wash it to get the dead yeast, hops, trub, and other ■■■■ out of it. Then store it in the fridge until needed. This is a good tutorial on the process. https://www.beercraftr.com/yeast-washing/
The only thing I would recommend different from the guide is to always make a yeast starter before repitching the yeast.
Well since it’s apple juice, I’m guessing the bubbles escaping the airlock smelled good to them. Thanks for the link, this is something I’ve never heard of before! Ah, but I’ve been using dry yeast. I guess washing dry yeast doesn’t work? I’m very ignorant about liquid yeast.
Liquid yeast is tons better and will greatly improve your brews. Drying the yeast is ■■■■■■■ them. I’ve always been told to never reuse dry yeast but I can’t remember the exact reason. To be truthful I’ve only used dry yeast once or twice in my life. The rest of the time has been liquid yeast.