|Artifact Rating||Ability Minimum||Repair Difficulty||Craft Difficulty||Required Successes||Resource Cost||Exotic Components|
Artifact Creation rolls use a pool of Int + appropriate Craft + relevant specialty (or Int + relevant crafting trait in the case of Esoteric Crafting) and are extended rolls taking place over the course of an 8-hour period within which the artificer devotes all their attention to the work. If an artificer increases this pool by use of Excellencies or activation of artifacts whose duration is less than 8 hours, then the motes used remain committed until the end of the 8-hour period. During periods of 'downtime' devoted to artifact creation, it may be easier for players to apply the number of periods worked as a multiplier on a single roll.
Step 1: Meet Minimums & Establish Infrastructure
The artificer must meet the minimum requirements to begin work on an artifact. The listed number is the minimum rating in Lore, Occult, and the appropriate Craft, including relevant specialties.
Artifact creation is always a demanding process, requiring significant skill and specialized tools. Working without such vital infrastructure makes the process even more difficult.
--- Workshop: Tools and facilities for design and production of the artifact. Unlike other equipment, bonus dice from workshops DO stack with personal equipment/hearthstones.
- - - - - Rudimentary: A small number of tools such as a hammer and chisel, a wrench, a set of calipers, some wooden nails. This workshop imposes a -4 penalty on creation rolls due to its unpreparedness, and adds +4 difficulty to magitech repair rolls. It requires zero resources to maintain and R1 to assemble. This sort of workshop can be simulated by the charm Shaping Hands Style.
- - - - - Basic: An artisan's shop with specialized tools for a particular profession, such as a blacksmith's forge or weaver's shop. For creation of appropriate artifacts, this workshop imposes a -2 penalty on creation rolls, and adds +3 difficulty to magitech repair rolls. It costs R3 to build and R2 per month to maintain. Charms, artifacts, and similar effects which remove the need for tools (such as Craftsman Needs No Tools, Clay-Wetting Practice, or Bracers of Universal Crafting) operate at this level.
- - - - Master: A workshop with a vast array of tools for all manner of mundane crafts, plus several tools of superior quality and perhaps one or two pieces preserved from more advanced eras. It imposes no penalty on creation rolls, and adds +2 difficulty to magitech repair rolls. It costs R4 to build and R3 per month to maintain. The Solar charm Words-as-Workshop Method operates at this level.
- - - - - Flawless: 'Shogunate-style'. A workshop with a full stock of high-quality tools or those dating from more advanced eras, many specialized for creation of artifacts. It adds a +2 bonus to creation rolls, and adds +1 difficulty to magitech repair rolls. A flawless workshop is built as per a 3-dot manse and costs R4 per month to maintain.
- - - - - Ideal: The hallmark of the High First Age factory-cathedrals, these workshops have a full set of complex tools for crafting and design of artifacts as well as instruments relating to motonic sciences and purifying engines such as refinery-organs. It adds +4 to creation rolls and does not increase the difficulty of magitech repair rolls. An ideal workshop requires 3 powerful exotic components per year to continue operating. None have survived functioning into the present age.
--- Assistants: Staff and aides to help with design and construction of an artifact. All must spend significant time working with the artificer during the time covered by the roll, must have Lore, Occult, and the appropriate Craft at a minimum of 3 dots, and add a number of automatic successes to creation rolls as follows:
- - - - - Mortals = 1 success per 5 assistants (round down).
- - - - - Terrestrials (Dragonblooded, terrestrial gods, elementals, 1st Circle demons, common Fae) = 1 success per 2 assistants (round down).
- - - - - Celestials (Celestial Exalts, celestial gods, 2nd-Circle demons, Fae nobles, Deathlords) = +4 successes each.
- - - - - Incarnae (Celestial Incarnae, 3rd-Circle demons) = +6 successes each.
Step 2: Design
The artificer must design the artifact to be constructed. The first 50% of required successes represent this part of the process. Botches on design rolls introduce unnoticed flaws that will only become apparent in the final product (in the form of additional or increased drawbacks).
--- From First Principles = Invention from scratch. The first 25% of required successes can be done as theoretical work, requiring no tools or workshop, so long as all theoretical details are recorded. For every 50 successes, one exotic component needed is revealed.
--- From Complete Plans = A complete set of plans in a format the artificer understands reveals all required exotic components, but allows no changes or substitutions.
Complete plans add an amount to the accumulated successes equal to 50% of the total required.
--- From Partial Plans = Possession of partial plans, schematics, or design notes in a language the artificer understands adds to the accumulated successes for creating the artifact. Small dribbles such as observed operations add two successes, with most partial plans adding between 10 and 200. For partial plans that add 100 successes or more, an exotic component may also be revealed, and occasionally such a material may be revealed on its own, the artificer knowing what is needed but still needing to puzzle out why. Even simply seeing an artifact for the first time is enough to grant 1 success.
The total successes added by partial plans may not exceed 50% of the required successes.
--- From Reverse-Engineering = An artificer with access to an existing copy of an artifact may study its forms and functions to determine how to replicate them.
- - - - - If they choose careful, cautious study, the artificer rolls Int+Occult at a difficulty of the studied artifact's rating. Add the threshold of this roll to the artifact rating to get the number of artifact creation rolls which gain a 6-die bonus from studying the artifact during design and construction.
- - - - - If they choose complete dissection of the studied artifact, the artificer rolls as above, but the number of creation rolls for which they gain a bonus is doubled, but the subject artifact is destroyed at the end of the process. If there is a botch on any of the creation rolls which gain this bonus, the artifact explodes prematurely: the artificer and all working with him suffer a number of levels of Lethal damage equal to the artifact rating squared, and no more bonus dice are awarded on subsequent creation rolls.
Step 3: Collecting Materials
The artificer must gather the materials needed to create the artifact, based on the design they have come up with. These include the specific exotic components their design requires, as well as quantities of mundane and magical materials.
For some artifacts, particularly Magitech, exotic materials may themselves be constructed by an artificer or his assistants, representing key systems that are needed in the final complex design. An exotic material crafted in this way is created in the same way as an artifact of a rating one dot lower than the artifact for which it is needed. These artifacts in turn may be created using artifacts one dot lower than they, so that a 4-dot artifact would be created using five 3-dot artifacts, each created using four 2-dot artifacts each created using three 1-dot artifacts (for a total of 60). 1-dot artifacts still require exotic materials of their own of course, but these tend to be simpler to obtain than equivalent components needed for more potent artifacts. See Magitech Components for examples.
Example: Example: A magitech artificer seeks to construct a suit of Sentinel Defense Force Armour, a 3-dot artifact which requires 4 Exotic Components, in the form of 4 2-dot artifacts: Energy Shield Bracers, Bolstering Inlays, a Sensory Augmentation Visor, and a Plug Circuit, as well as tools and materials including large quantities of Jade.
To construct the Plug Circuit, the artificer requires three Exotic Components in the form of three 1-dot artifacts: a Plug Diode Array, a Motonic Transistor Network, and an Essence Circuit, as well as specialized tools and quantities of the magical materials and alchemical treatments.
To construct the Essence Circuit, the artificer needs two Exotic Components: one is the complex toolset and sanctity of a Factory Cathedral, the other is a set of miniature components crafted from all five magical materials including all five colours of jade, according to precise specifications. Additional materials include Adamantine Glass and occult knowledge of essence conductivity.
Step 4: Building
Once the artificer has drafted their plans and gathered up their materials, they may begin construction of the artifact itself. The last 50% of required successes represent this part of the process, and these may not be provided by plans or design elements.
Exalts working a material to which they are not naturally attuned (ex: a Solar creating a daiklave out of jade) suffer a -2 penalty on each creation roll from here on. This applies to artifacts made using material mixtures (such as jade alloy), but not those using complex arrangements using minute quantities of the materials (such as the orichalcum filaments inlaid on crystal sheets which make up essence circuitry). If the artificer's team of assistants includes an Exalt naturally attuned to a material, ignore the penalty. For this purpose, mortals count as naturally attuned to none of the materials, Gods to all but soulsteel, ghosts to soulsteel and jade. Mortals and Exalts halve the penalty for working with soulsteel even if not naturally attuned.
An artificer who has created an artifact may choose to make a second copy, taking advantage of shortcuts and tricks picked up along the way. The artificer must not have started creating a different artifact or let any more than a season pass since the original was created. The number of successes required for the repeat artifact is reduced by 210.
Bauble Artifacts are minor works which do not merit even a 1-dot rating. They can be crafted by a dedicated artificer, however for the most part the talents and materials of the artificer are excessive for this purpose, such works requiring greater mastery of artifice and equal costs to 1-dot artifacts but conveying far less benefit. In the time of the Golden Age, Solar Exalted god-kings overseeing vast networks of Factory Cathedrals filled with trained thaumaturges could achieve economies of scale which allowed production of these artifacts, but the infrastructure and knowledge to do so has been lost to the Age of Sorrows.
N/A Artifacts are those whose power exceeds the scope of the five-dot artifact scale, such as the Imperial Manse. Their creation, too, exists on a far grander scope than is covered by these rules, often the goal and theme of whole Chronicles. Such epic undertakings, and how to bring them about, might involve some of the Artifact Creation rules or other systems entirely, and are best worked out together with the Storyteller and other players.