Crafting Skilled Professionals

Copyright Steven Carpenter © 2003

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

This article presents modifications to the skill hierarchy to reflect the variety of professional and craft skills as used by craftsmen in medieval fantasy worlds.

In the current skill system, RMSS focuses on skills most likely to be used by adventurers. While this is fine for many campaigns, players who want to further define their craft and professional skills face two choices. The first option is to treat as learnable skills the major components of the crafts category, e.g., smithing, and forgo historical accuracy-most medieval blacksmiths would not be particularly good at sword making or goldsmithing. The second choice is to learn each minor skill, like goldsmithing, separately using the combined progression. This option represents the opposite extreme by ignoring similarities among related skills and the basics taught to guilded craftsmen. Under the current RMSS rules, which use the second option, an average craftsman with 56 development points is only able to afford 4 craft skills leaving nothing for any other development.

To address this issue, I propose creating new categories from related skills under the current crafts, tech/trade professional, and tech/trade vocational categories. These categories reflect the basics of a craft or profession, such as smithing or medicine. The proposed skills in each category represent the specific areas of study within the craft or profession. Each new category uses the standard progression with DP costs of 3/6 for the crafts group, 5 for the profession group, and 3/7 for the vocation group. This provides a skill cost that is cheaper than the second option and more expensive than the first. While the new categories replace many of the skills in the current craft, profession and vocation categories, the old categories must still remain to cover individual skills that do not fit into these new categories.

A-1.13 Crafts Group

Standard progression. DP cost is 3/6. {Ag/Me/SD}

Crafts · Cooking: These skills provide a bonus for cooking or preparing food. They may also be used to detect bad food or when preparing/neutralizing dangerous food ingredients. The following are skills in the cooking category: {In}

Baking: The use of grains to create breads, pastries, cakes and other cereal based foods.

Brewing: Making ale, beer, and other fermented alcoholic beverages of moderate potency.

Butchery: The art of rendering an animal into its component parts for use as food. Includes skinning, deboning, sausage making, and all other meat preparation skills.

Confectionery: The creation of sweets and sugar based foods. Includes glazes and toppings for pastries, candies, etc.

Cultural cuisine: The preparation and cooking of traditional fare for a particular culture. Real world examples include Chinese, American, Southwestern, etc. In some societies social status also plays a role in food preparation; peasant cuisine may be a different skill than noble cuisine in the same culture.

Curing: The skill of preparing foods for storage and long-term preservation. Includes the making of trail rations, jerky, etc.

Distilling: The art of distilling potent alcohols from fermented grains and other sources.

Winery: The art of making wines.

Crafts · Fishing

Throw nets: The skill of throwing a net to catch fish. Usually done on ocean shores or streams during spawning runs. Includes the knowledge of schooling patterns. {Ag}

Trawling: The use of nets trailed behind a boat or between boats. {In}

Hook and line: The use of bait, lures, and other forms of line fishing. {Qu}

Clamming: The skill of digging clams, including knowledge of probable location and preparation. {SD}

Crafts · Horticulture

Cereal: This skill allows the proper planting and harvesting of grains. Includes knowledge of proper seasons for growth, soil requirements, and seed requirements. {Em}

Gardening: Includes the proper care and maintenance of vegetables and legumes. {Em}

Floristry: The art of growing flowers, including their requirements and types as well as crossbreeding and pollination. {Em}

Forestry: The care and feeding of trees. Includes the knowledge of disease and infestation and the methods of curing them. {Em}

Fungistry: The proper growing and finding of mushrooms and other fungi. Allows the user to differentiate between harmless and poisonous varieties. {Me}

Herbalism: The raising of herbs and spices. {SD}

Plowing: The skill of preparing land for use in farming. {St}

Crafts · Leathercraft

Armorer: The creation and repair of leather armor. {SD}

Clack: The creation of general leather items. {Ag}

Cobbler: The making of shoes and boots. {Ag}

Saddler: The making of saddles and other animal trappings. {SD}

Tanning: Turning hides into leather. {Co}

Tooling: The coloring and imprinting of leather. {Ag}

Upholstery: The creation and repair of cushions and padding for furniture. {SD}

Crafts · Ropemaking

Cordwright: The making of ropes and lines of different strengths. {Ag}

Knotmaking: The art of using multiple types of knots to fasten rope. {Ag}

Netmaker: The creation and repair of nets of all types. {Ag}

Crafts · Smithing

Armorer: The creation and repair of metal armor. {St}

Blacksmith: This skill provides a bonus for working with iron and other metal wares including plows, horseshoes, and other tools and fittings. {St}

Bronzesmith: This skill provides a bonus for working and casting bronze. {In}

Coppersmith: This skill provides a bonus for working and casting copper. {In}

Etcher: This skill provides a bonus for using acids and tools to create designs in metal. {In}

Glassmith: The working of glass and leaded crystal. {In}

Goldsmith: The working of gold into ornamental and functional items. {In}

Silversmith: The working of silver into ornamental and functional items. {In}

Smelting: This skill provides a bonus for removing impurities, and refining raw ore, also includes the making of alloys. {St}

Weaponsmith: The creation and repair of metal weapons. {St}

Crafts · Stonecraft

Enameling: The composition and use of glazes and enamels to coat objects. {In}

Gemcutting: The faceting and setting of gemstones in jewelry. {In}

Masonry: The building of structures from stone and brick. {St}

Pottery: The use of clay and kiln to make objects. {In}

Stonecarving: The skill of carving stone to include writing and shaping. {In}

Quarrying: The cutting, transport and shaping of stone block from quarries. {St}

Crafts · Service

Barber: The art of cutting and arranging hair. {In}

Bartending: The art of serving drinks and listening to people. {Em}

Guide: The art of leading the way, especially in an informative manner. {SD}

Massage: Manipulation of muscle and bone to relieve tension. After a major injury has started healing, several successful rolls can reduce penalties. May be used to temporarily reduce permanent damage (penalties). {Em}

Serving: This skill gives a bonus to serve food and drink in the proper manner and time. Also includes general cleaning and the ability to be unobtrusive. A successful roll will allow an individual to blend into the background and not be noticed. {Pr}

Valet: The skill of assisting others to dress, bathe, and groom themselves. Also includes listening and running errands. {Pr}

Crafts · Textiles

Dying: The use of dyes to color fabrics, in patterns and solids. {In}

Embroidery: The use of needle and thread to decorate fabrics, including the creation of lace and other fine work. {Ag}

Furrier: The use of furs in creating clothing. {In}

Knitting: The creation of knits and other yarn based clothing. {SD}

Quilting: The use of pieces of fabric to create larger items. {In}

Spinning: The creation of string and yarn. {SD}

Tailoring: The making and repair of clothing from cloth and other fabrics. {In}

Tentmaking: The making and repair of canvas items including tents and sails. {SD}

Weaving: The making of cloth and other loom based fabrics. {In}

Crafts · Waxworking

Candlemaking: The creation of different types of candles. {SD}

Waxworking: The making and purifying of different types of wax. {SD}

Crafts · Woodcraft

Bowyer/Fletcher: The creation and repair of bows and arrows. {In}

Carpentry: The construction of large wooden structures. {In}

Cartwright: The creation of carts, wagons and other vehicles. {In}

Carving: The forming of items from wood. {In}

Cooper: The making of barrels for liquid storage etc. {In}

Joining: The making of cabinets and furniture. {In}

Logging: The felling of trees. {St}

Shipwright: The construction of waterborne vessels. {In}

Wheelwright: The making of wheels including mill wheels. {In}

A-1.32 Technical/Trade · Professional Group

Standard progression. Development cost is 5 DP. {Re/Me/In}

Profession · Advertising: By culture/country. {Pr}

Profession · Architecture: (Restricted) Includes the design and planning of projects.

Bridging: The design of bridges and aqueducts crossing open spaces. {In}

Structural: The design of buildings and fortification. {In}

City: The design of streets and cities to avoid traffic congestion and pleasing layouts. {In}

Naval: The design of seagoing ships. {In}

Surveying: The examination of an area to determine the suitability of building on it. {In}

Profession · Engineering: (Restricted) Includes the construction and analysis of projects.

Civil: The building of streets and sewers so that the city drains well and sewage is taken care of. {In}

Highway: The construction of paved roads and causeways that drain well and last. {In}

Hydraulic: The construction of dams, aqueducts, reservoirs, and other structures to hold and deliver water for washing, drinking and power. {In}

Mechanical: The building of mills, drawbridges, gates and other mechanical structures or moving devices. {Ag}

Shipbuilding: The construction of sailing and rowing ships. {In}

Siege: The construction of siege fortifications and weapons. {In}

Spanning: The building of structures to span rivers, chasms, valleys etc. {In}

Structural: The construction of fortification, walls, supports, towers and buildings. {In}

Profession · Medicine: This set of skills is used with either the rules in School of Hard Knocks (section 4.0) or the static maneuver tables from Hands of the Healer (page 6) to heal injury.

Bone Setting: Used to set broken bones or to reset improperly healed bones. Will only work on medium injuries. {Em}

Physic: Replaces diagnostics. Diagnosis of the ills of the body through examination and inference. Effective use requires knowledge of the appropriate disease or poison lore for those ailments. Must be learned separately for each race/animal type. {In}

Surgery, Major: This skill is for exploratory surgery, reducing permanent penalties and any attempt to work on severe injuries. Required for wounds bleeding 10 hits/round or more. {Ag}

Surgery, Minor: This skill is used for sewing up wounds, draining infections, removing foreign objects from an open wound, and removing dead tissue. Can be used to stop up to 9 hits/round of bleeding. It can be used on medium injuries. {Ag}

Profession · Mining:This skill helps asses the possibilities in an area, and includes supervising the creation and running of the mine. Actual work may require an engineering skill.

Dredging: Scraping material up off the bottom of rivers, lakes and ponds. {In}

Pit: Removal of topsoil to recover semi-exposed minerals. {In}

Sluice: The use of water to separate heavy minerals from soil. Includes panning. {In}

Tunneling: The digging of underground passages to extract minerals. {In}

Profession · Organization:

Cavalry: This skill covers the organization, logistics, and direction of mounted military units when not in combat. Includes billeting, supply, watch and patrol scheduling. {In}

Domestic: This skill covers the organization, logistics, hiring, and direction of servants, kitchen staff, and households. Required to run an orderly manor, inn, or guildhall. {In}

Infantry: This skill covers the organization, logistics, and direction of unmounted military units when not in combat. Includes billeting, supply, watch and patrol scheduling. {In}

Labor: This skill covers the organization, logistics, and direction of large, unskilled and semi-skilled groups of workers. Includes billeting, supply, hiring, and scheduling. {In}

Naval: This skill covers the organization, logistics, and direction of ships and crews when not in combat. Includes billeting, supply, watch scheduling, and berthing. {In}

Trading: This skill covers the organization, logistics, and direction of trading companies and caravans. Includes billeting, supply, guard rotation, and hiring. {In}

A-1.32 Technical/Trade · Vocational Group

Standard progression. Development cost is 3/7 DP. {Me/In/Re}

Vocation · Administration: By bureaucracy. {Pr}

Vocation · Appraisal

Armor: Skill in determining the value and quality of armor. {Re}

Assaying: Skill in determining the value and quality of land and buildings. {Re}

Beast: Skill in determining the value and quality of animals/creatures. {In}

Metal: Skill in determining the value and quality of metal objects in worked, raw, or refined condition. Not used for weapons or armor. {Re}

Ship: Skill in determining the value and quality of ships and boats. {Re}

Stone: Skill in determining the value and quality of stone objects in worked, raw, or refined condition. Is also used to appraise gems. {Re}

Trade: Skill in determining the value and quality of trade/general goods. {Re}

Weapon: Skill in determining the value and quality of weapons. {Re}

Wood: Skill in determining the value and quality of wood objects in worked, raw or refined condition. This includes apparent value of standing lumber. {Re}

Vocation · Boat Pilot: By river. {Ag}

Vocation · Drawing:

Cartography: The analysis, preparation and use of advanced maps and mapping techniques. {Ag}

Drafting: The analysis, preparation and use of advanced plans for architecture or other technical design skill. {Ag}

Scribing: The art of writing formal, decorative, and easy to read script, taking dictation, illuminate and copying manuscripts. {Ag}

Vocation · Pharmacology:

Apothecary: Used to prepare healing salves etc from herbs and other elements. {Ag}

Prepare acids/bases: Used to create/strengthen acids and bases. {SD}

Prepare dye: Used to create colored dyes for use with organic materials. {Ag}

Prepare paints: Used to create colored pigments for use with inorganic materials. {Ag}

Prepare poison: Used to prepare usable poisons from their natural form. {SD}

Vocation · Tactics:

Cavalry: Proper deployment of trained horsemen. {Re}

Combined arms: Proper deployment of armies. {Re}

Infantry: Proper deployment of foot soldiers. {Re}

Naval: Proper deployment of ships. {Re}

Scouting: Proper deployment of scouts. {In}

Sabotage: Proper tactics behind enemy lines. {Pr}

Siege: Proper use of assets to attack fortifications and strong points. {Re}