From the first stages of development, we have wanted the game systems in Tales & Taverns based as much as possible on real world logic. This adds strength to our belief that actions have consequences, but also should hopefully make the game easier to learn and understand. Since it has already come up as a point of discussion in our feedback group, I want to talk a little bit about how what this means in relation to crafting proficiency.
While many RPGs rely on arbitrary levels to restrict access to creating items, we decided against this. If you have the proper tools, you should be able to at least attempt to craft anything you like. Ok, it might not turn out excellent the first time, but we’re happy to assume that the person crafting isn’t a complete dimwit and will probably be end up with a result that is at least serviceable. And the more practice you have in a craft, the more likely it is that you will be able to come up with something really special. So while there are basic levels of proficiency in a craft or profession, there will only affect the quality of the goods produced, the chance of critical success. Your name will be attached to items you produce as your hallmark and so you can build your reputation. If you are well practiced and very lucky, you might even end up with a legendary items that you will then be able to name.
A person who devotes their time to practicing one skill will obviously hold more of a mastery than one who regularly skips their attention from one to the next. And if you neglect your skill for any length of time, you will eventually fall out of practice. In gameplay terms this means that while it’s easy to attain and retain basic knowledge of a craft, retaining mastery is much more difficult and your skill level will degrade over time should you not keep in practice.
For example (and these are arbitrary numbers and much testing needs to be done to decide actual practical levels) if you hold a level 5 mastery in a skill, there will be X percent chance your skill level degrades incrementally each day you do not use your skill. At level 4 you will have Y percent chance, where Y is less than X. However once acquired, you will NEVER drop below basic proficiency.
Also, we acknowledge and accept that some skills are just easier to master so we have no intention of trying to balance them all to be equally difficult. In addition, there are some that are obviously complementary to each other and as such may give bonuses. It would be natural to find a person who owns a forge for smelting to also own an anvil for smithing.
The reason we decided to base our crafting system on the tools involved rather than locking players into “choosing a profession” is that we can find no logical reason that a person shouldn’t be allowed to pursue a new path at any point. Sure, your mastery will degrade over time if you don’t use it, but why not change careers if that’s what you want? The idea is to give you as much freedom to create your story as possible.
If you have comments, questions or suggestions, please let us know!! Thanks for reading!