Step: Rank + CHA
This skill serves as a template for most Artisan skills.
Use of this skill requires Artisan Tools.
Each Artisan skill represents an art or craft practiced by the character. Practicing an Artisan skill, however, does not necessarily make a character an artist or entertainer. For example, a character with the Artisan skill of Canvas Painting may paint pictures every other day, but they may well lack the impact of a true artist’s work.
The Difficulty Number for using most Artisan skills is usually 5 or 7, making it relatively easy for novice characters to make a successful Artisan Skill Test. This ease reflects the fact that most everyone in Earthdawn regularly practices an Artisan skill. The Typical Artisan Skill Table lists common Artisan skills (some of which are also General skills, described separately). As with Knowledge skills, players may invent any Artisan skill they please for their character, subject to gamemaster approval.
In many isolated regions of Barsaive, local inhabitants remain wary of the dangers posed by lingering Horrors. In such areas, inhabitants commonly require that strangers use their artisan skills to prove that they do not carry Horror taint. Consequently, player characters can expect many opportunities to demonstrate their artisan abilities. A character using an Artisan skill as part of a greeting ritual should make his Artisan Skill Test against a Difficulty Number of 5. If successful, the character proves himself free of Horror taint and the locals will likely accept him.
Making an Impression
Gamemasters can also treat the Artisan Skill Test as a way of Making an Impression (see the Gamemaster’s Guide, p. 93) to determine how people respond to the character. The gamemaster compares the result of the character’s Artisan Skill Test against the highest Social Defense among the gamemaster characters present.