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The Wizard's Desk

The Wizard's desk is a blog space where our staff and creative leads offer their insight and experience on engaging with DrachenFest US! We're excited to share what we can, so pull up a seat!

Changes to Crafting in 2024


In this post, we’d like to talk about the “Crafter” role and our goals for crafting at DrachenFest.


“Crafting”, in larps, has meant a lot of different things. Depending on the larp, “crafting” might include an economy of crafting components, a big list of special items with their own rules, or maybe a way to “cycle” fighters in and out of the front line as their armor is repaired. So we recognize that people who choose the Crafter role might have a wide range of expectations.  Let’s clarify where we’d like to go with “crafting” at DrachenFest…


Armor and shields can no longer be fixed mid battle- they will need to be repaired in a crafting workshop afterwards. (an upcoming blog post will clarify some of the game-design logic behind this) We want to instead expand the opportunities for crafters that involve, well… doing crafting. They need ways to not just undo equipment damage, but also to proactively produce things that other people want. And to become a crafting community, they need a space for players come together, learn from each other, and develop a roleplay culture.


Putting the Craft back in Crafter

People Who Make Things at DrachenFest add a lot to the atmosphere, and the world. We’re talking about functional things that people can use, like armor, furniture, utensils, costume accessories, chests, etc. Whether crafters are skilled artisans or total beginners makes no difference–we want to celebrate them and build them a space. It’s fun to see stuff being made in real time. We love it when the things built at DrachenFest are given an identity or story purpose - like traditional camp accessories, tools for specific rituals, commemorations of big moments, or gifts to cement a new alliance. We hope DrachenFest will be a place where you can learn crafting skills from each other, and what you make at the festival is seen as meaningful and cool.


Which is to say - regardless of your current crafting ability, if you’re excited by the prospect of a crafting project that you start and finish in-character at the festival--whether it's your main focus, or something that only occupies a few hours of your day--this is for you!


Specialties

Towards the goal of focusing crafting gameplay on making stuff, in 2024, the Crafting “specialties”  will be reorganized to align with real tool sets Crafters can bring to the game. When you choose the Crafter role, you'll get to pick two of these. Take the ones you have most fun doing in person! 


  • Needleworkers use sewing & leatherworking tools. They can restore ap to leather and cloth armor (ie gambesons).

  • Smiths use metalworking tools. They can restore ap to metal armor.

  • Carpenters use woodworking tools. They can repair broken shields and camp gates.

  • Engineers use a variety of tools to work on War Machines. They may build, repair, and lead the operation of War Machines. They can evaluate gate strength by observing a gate within 30’ for five minutes (see war book for specifics). With 15 minutes of crafting roleplay, they can make a lock for in-game containers. Engineering activities could include setting up a war machine repair shop, a firing range for target practice, running team drills, and perfecting reload procedures. 


Camp Crafting Workshops

Similar to how camps host alchemy labs, herb gardens, and ritual circles, camps can host shared workshop spaces for crafters. Over time, these spaces may grow and specialize into multiple camp enterprises, like a forge or leatherworker’s space, allowing crafters to add their own flair and theming. 


A basic workshop has a solid working surface and a workshop sign, while a more sophisticated workshop will have an awning, covering, storage options and crafting decor.


For safety and security rasons, we recommend crafters keep their real tool sets in their own containers.



The Crafting Guild

But our most exciting changes live within the Crafter’s Union, a DrachenFest guild for people that enjoy doing hand crafting projects during the festival. They are the home of the crafting community.


At the guild, you'll be able to purchase crafting tools and materials for DrachenFest coins (while supplies last!)



Guild Training: Crafting Seminars

The guild hosts Crafting Seminars focused on different crafting types (leather, metal, etc). Crafters in attendance share knowledge with each other. At a leather armor serminar, beginners can learn the basics, and experts can present their learned wisdom. Perhaps the group will gel into a learning community, training and mentoring each other in real-life techniques. Experts who wish to host a crafting seminar should approach the guild and offer their services!


These hands-on crafting jam sessions give you a Guild Training (a game skill) that lets you advance timers for armor & shield repairs while working on real-life crafting projects. 


In practice, it might play out like this: some crafters in your camp (who have the Metalworker specialty and have attended a Crafting Seminar about Smithing) are working together to make real scale mail. Your metal armor is damaged, and you approach them to fix it. They ask about what repairs it needs, maybe tease you about getting hit so many times, and then tell you to throw your armor on the pile and come back in half an hour. When you return, one of them has spent 5 minutes to repair your armor, even though they were clearly working on their scale mail project the whole time. 


We hope this creates a space within each camp where people working on crafting projects are visited after battles, engaged in roleplay, and their handiwork is seen as a meaningful service for their camp.



Guild Skill: The Dragon Mark

The Crafting Union also offers a unique Guild Skill: the Dragon Mark. As a guild member, by completing a crafting quest during the festival, the Guild may award you a Dragon Mark. This symbol of recognition can be attached to an item you've worked on (ideally something you’ve personally created or modified during the festival), denoting its exceptional quality.  Each Dragon Mark you earn can be affixed to a different item each year. Items bearing a Dragon Mark receive a boon:


  • Armor enhanced by a Dragon Mark gets +1 to its max value. (A character can only benefit from one DragonMarked armor piece at a time.)

  • A shield enhanced by a visible Dragon Mark can block an Orb of Power, but is then damaged and needs to be repaired. (The Dragon Mark remains)

  • A gate enhanced by a Dragon Mark gets +5 minutes to its defense time

  • A War Machine enhanced by a Dragon Mark gets +5 minutes to its attack time


Dragon Marks cannot “stack” in any way. Their effects only last until the end of the event.


The Dragon Mark skill makes you one of DrachenFest’s best gift givers. We’d love to see armor crafters pick a character whose gear they want to upgrade, and then spend time modifying and customizing that character’s  “look”--for example embossing their armor with a camp sigil, or making them a custom shoulder piece that is just right for their character .. When you see Dragon Marked armor, it’s impressive because that armor was physically upgraded in-play!



Guild Training: Exotic Crafting

Anyone can work with leather, metal, or wood - but what about fantastic materials like mithril, adamantium, or dragonscale? How do you make cold iron manacles, or shields reinforced with wood from the world tree? With a special guild training class, guild members establish methods to work with new or rare materials, and incorporate them into game props. This process always needs cooperation with a ritual spellcaster and/or alchemist.


While rare materials have no mechanical effect, they may have lore or associated roleplay. They also give each created item its own backstory. (Did you know my breastplate was made with the blood of 6 elves? Yeah it was about to be 7, but my shield broke.) These items are sometimes useful in rituals or quests.


For example, Lunarian Steel is made by ritually infusing silver with moonlight and blood. When someone wears an item enhanced with it, they can hear faint music whenever the moon is in view. Crimson Dragon Leather is red tooled leather that’s been treated with fire and the ashes of phoenix wort (a herb that grows in camp gardens). It gives its wearer irrational courage and an appetite for spicy food. 


The guild records player-created methods for crafting with rare, fantastic materials. Other crafters may then follow those recipes/quests when making their own items.


Join the Crafting Guild’s Bazaar Team!

The Crafter’s Union guild is taking applications for its bazaar team here - (DISCORD LINK). Like other guilds, camp players can join the guild during the event, sign up for classes, and take part in what it has to offer! 

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