House Rules: Skills - Artistry

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You are skilled in the creative arts, following your aesthetic sensibilities to bring to life the wonders of your imagination. Like Craft, Perform, and Profession, Artistry is actually a number of separate skills. You could have several Artistry skills, each with its own ranks. The most common Artistry skills are choreography, criticism, literature (including poetry), musical composition, philosophy, and playwriting.

Uses


Create Work of Art (Novice)

Like Craft, an Artistry skill is focused on creating something. However, what it creates is not necessarily a physical object; it could be a pattern or blueprint for an item, or a better method for crafting a type of item. Thus, an Artistry (musical composition) check could be used to create a new song, but the important act of creation is the song itself, not the paper on which it is written or even the performance. An artist is not necessarily a skilled performer, though she might be. An artist’s province is the creation of ideas and concepts, and the realization of those ideas in a way that can be enjoyed by others and contribute to the broader culture of the arts. Some art forms (such as painting or sculpture) skirt the line between Artistry and Craft. It’s up to the GM to rule whether certain Craft skills can be taken as Artistry skills instead.

Check: You can create works of art and try to earn a living by impressing possible patrons with your talent and ideas.

Table: Artistry

Artistry DC Workmanship
10 Pedestrian work. No one buys your original work, but you get a few odd jobs using your skills—often just repairing or copying someone else’s work. You earn 1d10 cp per day.
15 Pleasing work. In a prosperous city, you find a few who wish to purchase your work, and earn 1d10 sp per day.
20 Impressive work. In a prosperous city, you earn 3d10 sp per day, and may receive an artistic commission from a wealthy or public figure. As a result, you gain a local reputation.
25 Memorable work. In a prosperous city, you earn 1d6 gp per day, and you are likely to attract the attention of wealthy patrons and to develop a national reputation.
30 Masterful work. In a prosperous city, you earn 3d6 gp per day. In time, you may draw attention from distant patrons, or even from extraplanar beings.

Since works of art are products of imagination, masterwork tools are of no use in their creation.

Creating a Commissioned Work: If you are creating a specific commissioned work, determine the value of the work you wish to create by looking at the table below, then follow the listed steps. You must have a patron willing to pay this value to attempt to create a commissioned work. The amount earned from trying to make a living using Artistry is for works that are distributed among many people and publications, not bought by one patron.

Table: Commissioned Work

Quality of Work Proficiency Commission Fee
Poor Novice 1 sp
Standard Skilled 250 sp
Expert Expert 500 sp
Master Master 1,000 sp
Legendary Legendary 2,000 sp

To determine how much time and money it takes to complete a work of art, follow these steps.

  1. Find the DC and price corresponding to the quality of the work you intend to create.
  2. Spend 1/4 the price of the work you intend to create. This represents buying supplies such as parchment and ink, hiring the services of musicians, paying for research materials, and the like.
  3. Attempt an Artistry check with the appropriate DC, representing 1 week’s worth of work. If you succeed, multiply your check result by the DC. If the resulting value equals the price of the item in sp, then you have completed the work of art and gain your commission fee. (If the resulting value equals double or triple the price of the work in silver pieces, then you’ve completed the task in half or one-third of the time. Other multiples of the DC reduce the completion time in the same manner.) If the resulting value doesn’t equal the price, then it represents the progress you’ve made this week in sp. If the check fails, you make no progress.
  4. If you didn’t complete the work of art, you can either continue working or call it done and cut your losses. If you continue working, you must spend 1/4 the price again for each week you work. Record the result of your check from the first week, and add your progress for each subsequent week to the total until you either complete the item or cut your losses. If you decide to cut your losses, you gain the commission of the highest-quality level that your total could have completed. For instance, if you were trying to create a memorable work (a commission price of 1,000 sp) and have made only 600 sp worth of progress, you can cut your losses to gain a commission fee for an impressive work (500 sp, or 50 gp). You can’t earn the value for a higher quality than you were aiming for, so if you aimed to create a memorable work but ended up creating a masterful work, you couldn’t gain a commission price higher than 100 gp. When you cut your losses, you don’t gain back any money you spent on supplies and services. So if you spent 250 sp when trying to create a memorable work, selling an impressive work would net you only 250 sp total if you spent 1 week of work, and would cause you to break even if you spent 2 weeks. It’s possible to lose money working on a commission.

When a work of art is used with the Performance skill, you can add the work of art's quality bonus to your Performance check. Only one work of art can be used per Performance.

Action: Varies. Trying to earn money by creating minor works of art typically involves a full week’s work. If you work less than 1 week, you earn the daily average amount appropriate for your level of workmanship. Creating a commissioned work typically takes a week or more.

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