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Old September 19, 2021, 00:30   #32
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Saratoga, California (in the midst of Silicon Valley)
Posts: 513
bron is on a distinguished road
Sorry for the delay in responding to this.

What do I like about smithing? Mostly, I think it's about building up the character, step by step. As you say, trading a harder middle game for an easier end game. You build the character via skills and abilities; smithing is like that in spades.

But it's also about building the character to be hugely powerful, to crush your enemies and see them driven before you. And not just because you got lucky and found Ringil or the Boots of Feanor, but because you personally and deliberately made those powerful items, via skill and hard work and sacrifice.

Nobody likes consuming inventory slots to carry smithing gear, but it's a choice, a trade-off. The potential to make something wonderful by sacrificing inventory in the present.

In current sil-q, it is easier to make modestly powered items. A Sword of Gondolin say. But nearly impossible to make really powerful items, mostly because you can't raise your smithing score to the levels needed. You can maybe use Masterpiece to make *one*, but that's just not a large enough payoff.

There don't seem to be any items that raise your Smithing score directly anymore, so you have to use +Grace items to supplement the points put into Smithing. At best, that's a Robe+2, Helm+1, Amulet+1, Lamp+1, and a Weapon+1. That's a reasonable set, but smithing costs are higher than they were, so it's not really enough. Plus several of these items require relatively high smithing scores to make them in the first place, which means you have to put a lot of points into Smithing in order to make them, and you can't really afford that until later in the game, which in turn means you have less opportunity to make that investment pay off.

At this point, I'm going to make some highly speculative and totally untested statements about what would make Smithing more interesting and fun for me personally. Take them for what they're worth: I'd like to see more Smithing actions, which means more forges, which in turn means making each forging action be less significant. One possible way to do this would be to dispense with "Artifice", and make each of the choices in the Artifact menus be an Enchantment, and allow multiple Enchantments to be put on the same piece, one at a time, with increasing numbers of "forge uses" required for each additional Enchantment, and probably an increased cost to Enchant an already Enchanted item. You could make a lot of simply Enchanted items, or just a few really powerful ones, or something in between. The work done on a piece early on the start would not be irrelevant, it would be a step toward the thing you ultimately want e.g. first you make a non-magical (+1,2d6) [+1] Longsword, then later you add (Defender), still later you brand it with poison, and finally just before going to face Morgoth you make it Sharp. Thus, the equipment progresses, just as the character progresses.
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