Crafting, consequences and failures.

I’m wondering what kindof failure consequences you’ve used for crafting skills(Blacksmith, Armorer, Weaponsmith, Bowyer, Enchanting etc), as examples and ideas for later. Some craftings are easier because they will be represented in the Beliefs of the character, but they don’t necessarily do. The book mentions failure = poor quality, do you just go with this or do you typically come up with more elaborate failure clauses?

I depends a lot on the intent i think. What do you build something for is the first question you have to ask when thinking about failure. More on that - later

Like all failure consequences, you should vary these things. Sure, most of the time you can go with, “You make a crap sword”, but if you know things are going to get heated in the near future in some manner, you can mess with folks.

  • A blacksmith might whack his thumb, breaking it in the week before the big battle, giving a +1-2Ob for all Agility skills until it heals and the cast comes off.
  • An illuminator might complete his calligraphy work perfectly leave the lid of a pot of sepia ink afterwards and require haggling, resource or fishing tests to replace it [like an exhausted kit DoF], or get sacked for stealing stationery from his employer.
  • An Alchemist or herbalist might mislabel a jar and poison herself, or their next client.
  • An enchanter creates a item of such inestimable corruption that it begins to unravel the fabric of the world and heroes start showing up to foil his evil plot. He just doesn’t know they are heroes yet.
  • A bowyer creates a weapon that slowly warps over time, increasing archery Obs by +1 per month after it’s first use.
  • An armourer makes the trews for his client so tight he cant sit on his charger while wearing them.
  • A weapon-smith makes a sword with a weak tang that breaks the first time it scores a superb hit.
  • The client refuses to pay for the work, leaving the character out of pocket on expenses.

Those are great failure results, Durand.

The Illuminator example reminds me of the story about a typo in a print-run of Bibles that accidentally told people that, under The Word of God, “Thou Must Commit Adultery”!
Also the recent cook-book that suggested adding “Freshly ground black people”

A simple mistake, that doesn’t get caught at proof-reading, seems like a fair Failure.

Another option for crafting might be an item that is better than expected in some way, but worse in others:
A sword is sharper than normal (+1 VA?) but unbalanced (+1Ob?), or weak (requires maintenance/mending )
Armour is sturdier, but uncomfortable.

Although I always like the examples that are not directly failing the Task. The item is crafted normally, but there is another issue, such as your blacksmith/illuminator examples

I like those ones too, but they don’t always fit.

One consequence I’ve used before is to make a non-expendable item “expendable”. That is, it has poor structural integrity, and every time you use it you must toss a DoF to see if it breaks. I did that for a failed Scavenging test to find a rusty axe in a snowbank though, but it might be applicable to crafting skills from time to time.

I’m not sure how rules legit this is but I considered allowing a character making a sword for the orc leader character to do it and give it over and the dice wouldn’t be rolled for for making it until the orc leader player uses it for something important.

As a one-time thing, I think this would be totally awesome. What a nail-biter! Wouldn’t use it too often, though, or even more than once.

I haven’t used it at all yet. We did it another way and I thought about using it some other time.

With the right group you could roll immediately and just state that failure means that the sword breaks during it’s first battle, whenever that is…

Thanks for all the examples, It’s very interesting to me to get examples how others solve specific situations like these. Just seeing them gets the creative juices flowing.

Some other ideas:

-Something goes horribly wrong during the construction process and the craftsman’s workshop is ruined. Perhaps he even injured fellow artisans, or damaged a nearby house/river/street (maybe best for masonry-style crafting).
-The craftsman is convinced it’s a masterwork, yet it is ultimately flawed and his work will unravel the moment it is put to the test/laid eyes on.
-The craftsman took too long, and his client no longer needs the work (and he won’t get paid, either).
-Being tasked with painting a client’s daughter, you or she gets the bright idea that it would work better were she in the nude. Cue vengeful, rich father.
-You’re almost finished, but need a special ingredient or specific material to finish: time to saddle up and go questing for it!

You don’t take your work serious enough and as time is pressing you spend the last 3 nights working. Your wife is not happy with your slacking

LOL, when I read this, my immediate thought was that you were talking to me.

Yeah, rushing it out has lots of good consequences:

  • You’re exhausted from the all nighter, +1 Ob for the next 2 days.
  • You did the minimal job and shipped it. Word gets out to someone important and you lose a contract. (Really bad failure? Welcome your new Reputation, “Shit job craftsman”)


For a composition, a surprisingly large number of people taking your satirical allegory literally, and start looking for the Rosicrucians or the Kingdom of Prester John.

My masters tell me I should indicate that this comment is gold.

An amusing consequence of failure that I had in my game the other night was during an attempt to secure a high-speech antecedent from a gryphon-like monster. While the characters have not discovered it yet, the as-yet-to-be-created collar that will be enchanted will grant high-speech to any creature the collar is put on…only it’ll be high-speech dwarf, a language no one in the party understands.

Props to Pete and Wyatt on that one.