Claws of the Dragon
Step: Rank + CHA
This skill serves as a template for most Artisan skills. Use of this skill requires Artisan Tools.
Each Artisan skill represents an art or craft practiced by the character. Practicing an Artisan skill, however, does not necessarily make a character an artist or entertainer. For example, a character with the Artisan skill of Canvas Painting may paint pictures every other day, but they may well lack the impact of a true artist’s work.
The Difficulty Number for using most Artisan skills is usually 5 or 7, making it relatively easy for novice characters to make a successful Artisan Skill Test. This ease reflects the fact that most everyone in Earthdawn regularly practices an Artisan skill. The Typical Artisan Skill Table lists common Artisan skills (some of which are also General skills, described separately). As with Knowledge skills, players may invent any Artisan skill they please for their character, subject to gamemaster approval.
Typical Artisan Skill Table
|Artist||Craft Weapon||Rune Carving|
|Cooking||Mapmaking||Wardrobe and Style|
Using Artisan Skills
Ever since the time when people discovered that those touched by the Horrors could not maintain the discipline to practice an art or craft, every adept has learned one. Only by constantly practicing his art or craft can an adept prove that the Horrors have not corrupted his power. Though they rarely do so, characters can use Artisan skills if the situation calls for it. For example, if the gamemaster decides that a character must create a sculpture or painting in order to advance the story, the character may use an appropriate Artisan skill to do so.
In many isolated regions of Barsaive, local inhabitants remain wary of the dangers posed by lingering Horrors. In such areas, inhabitants commonly require that strangers use their artisan skills to prove that they do not carry Horror taint. Consequently, player characters can expect many opportunities to demonstrate their artisan abilities.
A character using an Artisan skill as part of a greeting ritual should make his Artisan Skill Test against a Difficulty Number of 5. If successful, the character proves himself free of Horror taint and the locals will likely accept him.
Making an Impression
Gamemasters can also treat the Artisan Skill Test as a way of Making an Impression to determine how people respond to the character. The gamemaster compares the result of the character’s Artisan Skill Test against the highest Social Defense among the gamemaster characters present. An Average Result improves their Attitudes by one degree. A Pathetic Result worsens their Attitude by one degree.