We’ve been seeing red and blue lights at the Bowlmore bowling alley. What brings IRPF to our little moon? Anyway…

Episode 22, crafting! The hosts explore a rule set they really don’t know anything about. Along with a digression on transcendent technology, and a big-eyed ask for help buying a space station!

Show notes coming soon! In the meantime, check out the HSD Lorebook Kickstarter, almost to $20,000!

Already made a pledge to the Kickstarter? Our own ability to support the kickstarter took a plunge after we had to replace Asaph Hall’s ailing air reconditioner units, which was a lot of creds 🙁 Sadly, there’s no pocket change to spend on imaginary toys. If you’ve enjoyed the last year of RFD, throw a few dollars at the hosts. Every penny will go into the HSD Kickstarter toward the purchase of a space station or bluesky to give our hosts a tiny little place in the Hc Svnt Dracones continuity: Voltaire Station!

Here’s the donate button, or read a little more about the ask, and maybe what we hope to bring you in return for this gift (Corbeau’s promising an Actual Play series, he REALLY wants that bluesky). Thank you so much…this year hit some major financial obstacles and we haven’t been able to support to the degree that we wanted to. Of COURSE there’ll be more thanks in our upcoming episodes!

(Thank you to Yalc, Sammi, and Ghost-091!!! $60 received, almost able to bump us up to the first Space Station level! Yay!)

This week’s technical glitch: after a Windows Update shut down my system, I’m working off a laptop. I honestly don’t know what this week’s episode sounds like…the mysterious E21 is a mini-episode with Corbeau and Khalgren talking HSD history, still in progress.

1.45 — Meet the hosts! Guys, what do you want added to the 2.0 equipment lists?

2.40 — Talking about the HSD Kickstarter, the stretch goals just passed up the “get every corp’s toggle” and is accelerating toward the $20K HSD literary fund…

7.20 — Questions and Opinions, “how can we keep Transcendent tech fresh?” Ashtaar attempted to give the party GM-created TTI implant, but we overlooked it.

15.50 — Today’s topic: crafting rules! We’ve never unpacked them, so it seemed like it’s time to take a look.

20.00 — One of D&D4.0’s quirkier rules…if you attempted to sell a magic item or reduce it into magical poof powder, you’d always end up with 1/5 of its value. It was like the speed of light, you could never get past 1/5. That changed a bit, but it was still kind of arbitrary…

21.46 — Yes, the rules for crafting are a bit complex. It’s a four-stage process (conception, design, testing, production) with a number of dice rolls, a minimum of four rolls and four successes with a variety of different stat combinations. Overall this is intended to bring multiple players into the act and make crafting into a story element, so look at it as more of an encounter or a montage than a single action. This is a lot of what we like about D&D4.0’s “Skill Challenge” mechanic. Check out this article, “They Wasted a Perfectly Good Mechanic,” for some “what’s good/what’s wrong” with that rule set.

25.10 — Crafting makes very heavy use of the “help” mechanics and demands a wide variety of stat combinations (clear mind, creativity, physical dexterity, force of personality and presence, and a cute butt.) It’s possible to build a single character with all these attributes, but in a system with a lot of points scarcity, it’s easier to build a character with Craft 3 and use “Help” to grant your associates Craft 2. Not only does that save on valuable character points, but it also gives other people some sense of involvement and lets them bring their own cards to the table. Yay! This is why I think it may be better to abstract Craft as “project management” than “making,” even though that idea breaks down in places.

29.50 — The Testing phase gets a bit strange. It’s “unnecessary” if you own your own testing facility, and therefore don’t need to rely on the one provided by your manufacturing facility. But that means that you’re able to test at home, and presumably use shortcuts and a less rigorous methodology than the Corp Facility would require. The result: a flat 2/3 chance of failure. Using the Corp Fac will require social rolls – Body and Mind: Presence. No actual testing need occur, one assumes you gaze deeply into the Fac manager’s eyes and he says “…looks fine!” or at least cooperates with you using their tools. So I’m not sure there’s a benefit to using the home version of a testing facility. You just set yourself up for failure. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the rules on this one. HSD’s rules are kind of abstract and I’m totally trivializing here.

33.21 — Hmm. The crafting rules assume you’re working your way to the final stages of production, but a blueprint is a pretty valuable commodity on its own. What’s to stop a character from selling a blueprint to an up-and-coming corp, and trading exclusive rights for a few prints of the final product? That seems like a legit tactic that would skip a lot of the heavy labor of production. However, the chance of having a flawed blueprint (and you wouldn’t know HOW flawed until you put it into the PrintoTron3000) might outweigh the fast buck opportunity. This would be a really good reason to have most of the crafting rolls made in secret.

36.30 — Hey, Ashtaar, why don’t we print more living organisms? Why? This sounds like it’d be really fun. I can’t see how it would go wrong. Custom designed critters would be SUCH a thing for a PC job. Oh man. Breeding sparkledogs for well-off celebrities…Tribble-type incidents on every critical failure…

44.00 — An aside here on applying Crafting to, well, arts and crafts and such. Can it be done? Maybe. The idea of a “blueprint” might be hard to reconcile with the one-off nature of crafting or the cerebral process of writing a play, but there could be ways to adapt.

49.15 — A callout for Stephen Chow’s 2001 “Shaolin Soccer,” a beautiful and so stupid movie. Can’t seem to find an original language version.

49.50 — What’s awesome? Whines talks about the non-con “Texas Furry Siesta” as a sociological experiment in folks showing up to a freeform event. If you can make it to Dallas, look for us and say hi, I’ll be DJing an hour of Disney music! Ashtaar talks…I think…about the Musk/Zuckerberg debate on Artificial Intelligence. Corbeau starts to talk about the decline in birth rates of African Wild Dogs, gets depressed, and switches to talk about this bit of smartphone gimcrackery, the ORII.

With thanks to Sirius Beat for our intro music, “Future Club,” and outro music, “Tronicles.” Our fun, modular header art is by Absyfield , (Thank you Ashley!) and Whines is our audio engineer.