Crafts is the skill of working with machinery, for good or ill.
The default skill is called Crafts because it’s what we use in the examples, but this skill might vary a great deal depending on the setting and what kind of technology is available. In a modern or sci-fi setting, this might be Engineering or Mechanics instead.
OOvercome: Crafts allows you to build, break, or fix machinery, presuming you have the time and tools you need. Often, actions with Crafts happen as one component of a more complex situation, making it a popular skill for challenges. For example, if you’re just fixing a broken door, neither success nor failure is interesting; you should just succeed and move on. Now, if you’re trying to get your car to start while a pack of werewolves is hunting you…
CCreate an Advantage: You can use Crafts to create aspects representing features of a piece of machinery, pointing out useful features or strengths you can use to your advantage (Armor-Plated, Rugged Construction) or a vulnerability for you to exploit (Flaw in the Cross-Beam, Hasty Work).
Creating Crafts advantages can also take the form of quick and dirty sabotage or jury-rigging on mechanical objects in the scene. For example, you might create a Makeshift Pulley to help you get to the platform above you, or throw something into the ballista that’s firing on you to give it a Jammed Pivoting Joint and make it harder to hit you.
AAttack: You probably won’t use Crafts to attack in a conflict, unless the conflict is specifically about using machinery, like with siege weaponry. GMs and players, talk over the likelihood of this happening in your game if you have someone who is really interested in taking this skill. Usually, weapons you craft are likely to be used with other skills to attack—a guy who makes a sword still needs Fight to wield it well!
DDefend: As with attacking, Crafts doesn’t defend, unless you’re somehow using it as the skill to control a piece of machinery that you block with.
So Many Crafts
If working with different types of tech is important to your game, you might have several of these skills in your list. So, a futuristic game might have Engineering, Cybernetics, and Biotechnology, all basically with the same moves available for their respective type of tech. In such a game, an individual character can’t be proficient at all of them without expending a lot of skill ranks.
If you’re going to do this, make sure that you have a reason for it besides pedantry—if the only thing that splitting the skills gets you is the same effects with different names, you should keep it more generalized and use stunts to handle the specialties.
- Always Making Useful Things. You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Crafts, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff). This source of opposition is just off the table.
- Better than New! Whenever you succeed with style on an overcome action to repair a piece of machinery, you can immediately give it a new situation aspect (with a free invoke) reflecting the improvements you’ve made, instead of just a boost.
- Surgical Strikes. When using Crafts in a conflict involving machinery, you can filter out unwanted targets from whole-zone attacks without having to divide up your shifts (normally, you’d need to divide your roll between your targets).
If building constructs and creating items is a big part of your game, check out Extras for a discussion of what might result from the use of Crafts.