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Author Topic: Various Keeper-related questions  (Read 492 times)
EdgeOfDreams
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« on: August 11, 2011, 01:02:41 PM »

Going to be playing Fantasycraft for the first time this weekend, and I'm considering a Human Keeper who specializes in Crafting (particularly) metalworking and wields a hammer of some sort (inspired by a character from a book).  We're starting from level 1.  Various questions occur to me:

-Considering the Strong talent and Artisan specialty.  Any others I might have overlooked for this kind of character?  Or races besides Human?

-With most of my feats going into skill and gear feats, I may only pick up Hammer Basics and not have room for much else in terms of combat feats for the next 5 to 10 levels.  Is there anything else I can do besides multiclassing that will substantially improve my combat prowess?  Or what about a 1-level dip into something like Soldier for the BAB, armor benefits, etc.?

-Crafting magic items seems extremely time consuming.  Even something very basic (5-10 rep) looks like it takes a month or more to craft. Am I reading that right?  Am I missing something that can be done to significantly speed up crafting of magic items?

-I've heard Tire and Threaten can be good for non-combat characters, as they're skill based.  Tire makes some sense (a fighting style based on endurance instead of damage), but Threaten feels a little silly to me (I wave my weapon and look angrily at them until they get scared enough to faint!).  Could someone with experience tell me about how this plays out or gets flavored in a real game?

-In your experience, how else have Keepers contributed to your game besides Crafting and combat?  Any other suggestions on how to stay relevant in a game that may turn out combat-heavy and social-light?
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Antilles
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 02:14:18 PM »

Welcome to the forum, EdgeOfDreams, always good to see new members. Smiley As for your questions...

-Crafting keys off Intelligence, so if you're focusing on crafting Intelligent might be better than Strong... Educated, Gifted and Industrious are also good talents for a crafter. Artisan's the go-to Specialty, though. Human's probably best for crafting, but don't be afraid to look at the other races as well. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

-If you rule out classes and feats, you're pretty much left with superior equipment, magic items, and clever use of tricks. If you have the Adventure Companion take a look at the tricks section in the back, I'm sure you'll find one or two that'll come in handy...

-A couple of things: Ask the GM if he's willing to include reputation-raw items, like bits and bobs of rare and powerful monsters and such. If at all possible, get a small holding with a Crafting Workshop. That plus the increased threat range from the skill feats will make it fairly likely you'll get a critical success. Don't forget you get a decrease in reputation cost for certain items, as seen at the bottom of the table on page 195.

-Two things: Don't be afraid to change 'unconscious' to 'somehow not in the fight'. Whether the opponent faints, or backs into a corner too afraid to move is mostly a flavor issue, not a mechanical one. And it's generally a bit more than just wave your weapon around, we're talking going full on Hannibal Lecter on them. In your character's case it might be a wicked grin and a short but vivid description of how you'll use your hammer to crack their nuts... Evil. It's just a case of getting creative... and can swing you the occasional action dice for particularly good descriptions. Or just don't sweat it and just say 'I Threaten him.' and roll the dice. Either way works.

-This isn't from FantasyCraft, but I was the main crafter in another d20 game. Basically, unless you get creative and/or lucky, you'll never be the centerpiece of combats (not useless mind you, just not dropping foes left, right and centre), but the rest of the party will worship you when you dish out the finest weapons and armor like they were candy, and every time they just make it thanks to the edge your superior gear gave them, you'll know just how much you've contributed to the party.

Also, don't be afraid to look at the other things you can contribute, besides crafting weapons and armor. And not just other crafting fields, you have a lot of skill points, and a lot of skills to pick from. Medicine, Haggle, Tactics... many skills that would greatly contribute to a party.
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 02:17:58 PM »

-Considering the Strong talent and Artisan specialty.  Any others I might have overlooked for this kind of character?  Or races besides Human?
In my experience, it really doesn't matter much.  While there can be optimal choices for min/max purposes FC is very good at lessening the impact to your vision of your character.  If a Strong Human Artisan is the flavor you crave, have fun with it.  If you would prefer a Pech Artisan, have fun with that too.

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-With most of my feats going into skill and gear feats, I may only pick up Hammer Basics and not have room for much else in terms of combat feats for the next 5 to 10 levels.  Is there anything else I can do besides multiclassing that will substantially improve my combat prowess?  Or what about a 1-level dip into something like Soldier for the BAB, armor benefits, etc.?
While you are certainly welcome to dip into a level or two of something, remember that the Gamebreaker ability comes at class level 14 so every level you dip into delays the awesome.

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-Crafting magic items seems extremely time consuming.  Even something very basic (5-10 rep) looks like it takes a month or more to craft. Am I reading that right?  Am I missing something that can be done to significantly speed up crafting of magic items?
Yes, you are reading it right and short of the Supremacy feats, no, you can't really speed it up.  However, this is more of an issue with how your group (particularly, your GM) decides to handle downtime.  When I was actively running the game, the only character who put points into Crafting did it for the purposes of improvising.  Downtime was short and infrequent with my players.  If you want to craft, talk with the GM to ensure that your character will have that month of downtime to make something interesting.

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-I've heard Tire and Threaten can be good for non-combat characters, as they're skill based.  Tire makes some sense (a fighting style based on endurance instead of damage), but Threaten feels a little silly to me (I wave my weapon and look angrily at them until they get scared enough to faint!).  Could someone with experience tell me about how this plays out or gets flavored in a real game?
On the surface, yes, it looks silly.  However, as you rightly pointed out flavor MUST come into the picture.  Threaten isn't about making the bad guys faint so much as back down.  If a giant threatens to smash you, you might decide to back off so as not to die.  If the Keeper threatens you with backmail, some dread curse, a secret poison or leaving you a cripple to hear the screams of those who see your hideous form (See the Princess Bride scene on "To the Pain!"), then perhaps you back off and allow yourself to be captured instead of fighting.

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-In your experience, how else have Keepers contributed to your game besides Crafting and combat?  Any other suggestions on how to stay relevant in a game that may turn out combat-heavy and social-light?
If the game is truly going to be that combat heavy, I would invest less in crafting and more in combat feats.  Possibly, take a different Specialty to reflect a more martial world.  In the end, it comes down to the type of game you and your table play.  At my table, I expect a certain amount of social roleplaying.  The combat monster is NOT welcome.  (And in the last campaign, that was my wife's character.)  Your table is unique.  Talk to the GM and other players to see what they think.
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 09:41:10 PM »

Also, remember to PAY ATTENTION when people are doing stuff that involves gear you've made for them: people tend to forget the little bonuses...
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