These rules offer a way for craft-oriented Solars to start with typical equipment and empower their items based on their subsequent deeds. It encourages characters to have weapons appropriate to their nature and that follow a general theme, without having to build a new toy from scratch every time they want something new.
What Is Required
Obviously the Solar must have some sort of artifact to start with. He (or whoever owns the artifact) must also have performed one or more notable deeds. These need not be particular good deeds, only acts of heroic character, whether razing a city to the ground or saving a community from Abyssal Exalted. The deed must be memorable enough that it will live on in song and story - the Storyteller's decision is final, and the Solar cannot herself force a story into such an immortal state through her own efforts. This fame must be a product of the witnesses of the event, not a product of its instigator.
When the Storyteller decides an event is worth merit, he must think up an appropriate "legend-forged" bonus, and may obviously solicit player opinion. This is typically some unique power, or limited-purpose dice adder. For example, "+2 to Performance and Presence when leading one's troops", or "add Essence to soak against attacks from the creatures of darkness". The bonus must be directly connected to the nature of the legend on which it is based: a bonus to leading troops can only come after a particularly inspirational battle, for example. Each bonus is assigned an "Artifact" rating, from one to five dots, just like a normal artifact.
A craftsman must then begin the process of artifact-making, as outlined in Book of Three Circles or Savant and Sorcerer. However, he does not need to do any research or study; he may proceed immediately to the process of gathering exotic materials.
Rather than "conventional" exotic materials, materials used for Legend-Forging must be relics of the event in question - a walkaway talisman gathered from a particularly auspicious battle, water from the well the Solar dug to save a community, or some other appropriate token. The craftsman makes his Int + Occult rolls just as though he were creating an artifact of as many dots as the legend-forge bonus itself, NOT the artifact the bonus is being attached to.
The Storyteller may decide that a particular bonus, or collection of bonuses, has raised the effective Artifact rating of the overall item. This may affect magics or other rolls that depend on an Artifact dot level, but the item owner should not be penalized for the increase.
When using the more complex Savant and Sorcerer rules, the Storyteller should recalculate the item's separate ratings accordingly. He may also add in a special drawback ("depends on the endurability of the legend", whose rating would depend on how widely-known the legend was), but I have not written specific mechanics for this.
This sounds to be more fitting for a Sidereal style artifacts in my opinion. It seems to me that the artifact gains a “reputation” and through that it can alter dice pools appropriate to the skill that it is renowned for. And it would fit into arcane characters. "When the Sword of Stars appears from the heavens, great deeds came, and the battles were won to save all Creation from the evil horrors of the Thorns" So in that example, it is more the artifact that is saving creation rather than the efforts of the sidereal, since he is forgotten anyways. --Savare
This is cool; how would you address people who want their characters to "unlock" or "come into" more power, though, rather than deliberately forging that power themselves? Also ... although I like the idea, it seems a little odd to limit this system only to use after legendary events; is the idea that you can only raise an existent Artifact's rating by doing legendary things with it?
- The way to accidentally discover more power or potential in a weapon or artifact, WITHOUT doing it deliberately, is to let the weapon pick up the "talisman" or "walkaway" type qualities on its own. I would skip the artifact-creation process, charge the player 2 XP per dot of artifact that the weapon was gaining as a power-up (as per PG, just like they were gaining a new Background), and say "enjoy your new toy".
- Yes, the idea is that people who want more powerful artifacts, and don't want to build new ones every time, must do memorable things. It seems more interesting to me that way than saying "go into the shop for a few months and hammer out your Improved Daiklave Mark II". -- BillGarrett
I always thought it should be done during a meditation on the weapon, exploring it's true nature. Once the understanding has been reached (Lore check difficulty equals 2 times the current artifact level), then you may spend a number of experience points (based on what the weapon can do) to unlock the next level. Each artifact would have to be made as if it were 5 different artifacts (level 1 through 5). Maybe we could combine our collective creativity and come up with a chart for the experience costs? --Insanewizard