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Dilemma

I am making a character for an upcoming (low-power, no magic) campaign and the DM stated we should all consider mundane skills for repairs to our equipment, healing of our characters, and the like. Since we are using the 32 point buy system our stats will not be out of control. That isn't the problem. The problem is, something I have never really delved into before; the indivivual crafting skills.

I want to embrace the trope of the blacksmithing arctic dwarf. One would automatically think Craft (Blacksmithing) would stand-out. Arctic dwarf was allowed since we will be basing this on Norse Mythology and all living in "Icelandic" fantasy setting. We are using the weather rules, and I really wanted that +4 to saves; as does everyone else. I see that arctic dwarves have Icecunning, which allows their Stonecunning to include ice as well. Ok, great. I will have a +2 to craft with metal, stone, and ice.

  1. When I look at the craft skill, I see the individual craft skills on the table are: Craft (Alchemy), Craft (Armorsmithing), Craft (Bowmaking), Craft (Weaponsmithing), Craft (Trapsmithing), Craft (...Varies...)
  2. Whenever I look at the feat Metallurgy it grants a +3 bonus on all Craft (Armorsmithing, Blacksmithing, and Weaponsmithing) checks.
  3. Whenever I look at the Stoneblessed Prestige Class, I notice Craft (Stoneworking) 5 ranks as a prerequisite. Craft (Stoneworking) isn't on the table; nor is Craft (Blacksmithing). I understand that Craft (Blacksmithing) should be used for an iron pot. Would Craft (Stoneworking) be for stone tools? Would stone weapons be under Craft (Weaponsmithing)?
  4. Looking at the Drow of the Underdark book, it separates Craft (Poisonmaking) from Craft (Alchemy); although Craft (Alchemy) can be used to craft poison at a -5 penalty. Using the Poisonmaking vs. Alchemy as some sort of precedence, could Craft (Blacksmithing) be used to craft arms and armor with a -5 penalty?


Question

I know the above text has many "?" so here is the main question: Are there definitive Craft skills for definitive items?

If there is a Craft (Stoneworking), is there a Craft (Woodworking), and a Craft (Metalworking)... for example.


The Planned Build and Roleplaying Background

Arctic Dwarf

Dwarf Paragon 3 / Ranger 4 / Fighter 6 / Battlesmith 5 / Occult Slayer 5

We all are required to roleplay through our paragon levels to create a backstory. Whenever we get our 3rd level of paragon, and ability increase, we become "heroes" and can then start our adventuring career. Our paragon levels would then be considered racial hit dice and not count towards our base progression (Base Attack, Base Save). I plan on Spell-less Ranger for the bonus feats. Since my Wisdom is very low I want Endurance for Steadfast Determination. I want Fighter for the feats and Dungeoncrasher. I want Battlesmith to get some more power behind my hammer. And since the evil of the world still possess magic, Occult Slayer doesn't seem to shabby for defense against said magic.

Since I am to be the blacksmith, I will also repair our equipment, and perhaps craft some equipment when time and location permits. There will be an alchemist in the party to craft poison and alchemical items to hurt our enemies and help heal us. There will be a woodworker to repair our longship and build more longships when time and location permits.

We all have to work together and will mimic as much as possible as to what we all had to suffer through in 2nd edition. We are all experienced gamers and are up for this challenge.

We are using Vitality and Wound Points and Craft Points optional rules as well - so that there will always be a fear of death and a way to craft items without magic users.

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As far as I am aware there is no generic definitive and comprehensive list of Craft(X) or Profession(Y) skills for one obvious reason - there is no limit to human creativity. If a campaign requires dirigibles then its probably going to need Craft(Dirigible) and Profession(Dirigible Pilot) and a decision would be needed if they granted synergy to each other.

Also, as far as I am aware there are no hard and fast boundaries between similar Craft or Profession skills. If you are making a horseshoe then Craft(Blacksmithing) is your go to and if you are making a sword you want Craft(Weaponsmithing); what if you are making a kitchen knife?

The solution to this is for your group to decide for your campaign the skills you want and the boundaries between them. You already have a good start on the best way to do this:

  1. Write down everything everyone thinks they want to craft (or "profess").
  2. Decide what is a reasonable number of Craft/Profession skills - too many and everyone is ridiculously specialised ("No, you need a sheetmaker, I only do pillowslips"), to few and everyone is ridiculously talented ("A crashed spaceship? Great, I have 26 ranks in Craft (Vehicle)!"). In a no magic game you should probably have fewer, broader skills since this will be your primary resource.
  3. Group the things you want to do into the skills.
  4. Deal with the edge cases - I suggest putting them into more than one skill.
  5. Work out if skills provide synergy and how this works; the -5 for a related skill seems OK to me.
  6. Keep a record of this as you play and add things as they arise.
  7. Be prepared to revisit everything in the light of experience allowing rebuild of the system (add/remove skills or move tasks between skills) and rebuild of characters.
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 but I disagree with point #5: it's a terrible idea. Much better to have bonuses if you have related abilities. No time to explain more in details, sorry. \$\endgroup\$ – o0'. Jun 25 '15 at 17:03
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No, there are not definitive Craft skills for each item

Items can be crafted using any of a variety of skills. For example, Craft(Weaponsmithing) and Craft(Blacksmithing) could both be used to forge a sword, as could Craft(Weapon Making) and Craft(physical objects), but not Craft(Things that start with 'X') [though you could make a case for it, since they are definitively xiphoid].

Theoretically, there are an arbitrarily large number of craft skills, and while practically only those with less than 20 characters or so will fit on your sheet, that's still an incomprehensibly large amount of possible skills. Some of these skills are special, because Feats or Class abilities or other things you might get reference them specifically, either as a prerequisite or to grant a bonus. If you're planning on taking one of these things, it behooves you to avoid other craft skills that would largely overlap (e.g. Weaponsmithing and Metalworking) because 3.5 gives no bonuses for skill synergies (the real kind, not the kind in the PHB).

Other than that, though, there is no reason to only take published Craft skills and, indeed, a good number of reasons not to. Depending on how your GM does skill DCs, general skills will generally be much more powerful than specific ones or vice versa (usually general is much, much better). Exotic craft skills can make for a lot of silly fun. Evocatively named craft skills can help strongly characterize your character. So there are lots of reasons to make your own up.

That said, craft skills like Craft(physical objects), Craft(souls), Craft(backstories), etc may all be not-ok with your GM. Whatever craft skills you decide you do want to take, clear them with your GM to make sure they are acceptable in her campaign. In your case, for example, all the Craft skills you list are probably fine, but Craft(physical things) probably isn't, and Craft(Dreams) is almost definitely out.

Specific things: The -5 penalty is specific to poisons via alchemy. You can craft metal weapons with blacksmithing without penalty, as you can stone ones with stoneworking. Weaponsmithing may or may not apply to stone weapons depending on your GM and whether or not he considers it a synonym for weapon making. Blacksmithing may only refer to the smithing of iron and steel, be careful about that. The -5 penalty option for using a skill for something related but out of scope could be useful to generalize as a house rule, so that you can craft other metals with blacksmithing, too.

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