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The No-Nonsense Guide to Carving

by Dreamheart Delaevan Forestwolf
Winter of 412, latest updates Summer of 418

Guide Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Basics
    • The Tools of the Trade
    • Using Your Carving Tools
    • The First Cut and Onwards
    • The Shifting Pages of  Your Carving Book
  3. Bone, Stone or What?
    • Deciding which to carve
    • Roll Yer Own Bones
    • To Stone or Bone? The Pros and Cons of Stones and Bones
    • Separating bone stacks (cutting them down to smaller stacks)
  4. Harvesting Bones
  5. Work Orders
    • The Skill
    • The Fame
    • The Fortunes (or not…)
  6. Materials, Quality, and Workability
  7. Techniques
  8. Auxiliary Skills
  9. Reference Materials


I: Introduction

Carving is the first discipline that the Engineering Society opened up for study. Let me help you sort out the facts and help demystify the procedures and steps of this craft.

Currently, there are only 5 cities that have Engineering Societies. Shard, Crossing, Riverhaven, Muspar’i, and Ratha. People in the other cities and provinces will have to travel to participate in routine Engineering Society work orders and benefits.

There are many things you can learn to carve. Currently, only a few of them have any market value or use.

  • Sling ammo (shards are the most popular) of Quartzite or the very rare Felstone and Diamondique or even rarer Senci
  • Polished slickstones for outfitting (from soapstone)
  • Forked Stirring rods for forging (from limestone or the very rare Diamondique)
  • Stone weapons from extremely rare (and extremely difficult to work) stones
  • Tables for homes (they will store 15 items when master-crafted)
  • Bone Armor
  • Bone Weapons (for those special few people who want to use sub-par weapons compared to forged ones…)

Until the Enchanting Society is open, the value of enchanted stone or bone accessories and weapons remains nothing but speculation. The weapons carved from the best bone that can be found outside of a quest or festival are not even as good as plain steel forged weapons anymore. Senci stone weapons are the only exception to this currently, and Senci’s only source is also quest/festival. These senci weapons rival, and sometimes exceed the specs on even rare metal forged weapons.

II: The Basics

The Tools of the Trade

You’ll need one of the carving instruction books. The Master book has all the patterns in it, but it is costly. The Apprentice book holds the smallest number. The Journeyman book has everything in the Apprentice book, plus some; but not all the ones included in the Master book

You can purchase iron tools in the Engineering Society. These tools damage easily, are slow, and are not master-crafted. Buy them to get a feeling for carving, but replace them as soon as you can with quality forged tools. You’ll carve better, faster, and won’t need to stop and repair as often. Steel tools are excellent quality. Analyze them before you purchase them to see how they will assist you in your carving and to make sure they are master-crafted. If your tools are only outstanding, they may hamper your ability to craft well if your skills are close to capping what you are carving.

  • Chisel (only for carving stone)
  • Bone Saw (only for carving bone)
  • Rifflers (for both)
  • Rasp (for both)

You will also need a steady supply of polish. There’s only one kind available regularly that is sold in the Engineering Society, it is not first quality, but it is all we have. We have seen different kinds of polish for sale at Hollow Eve, but it’s very impractical to store up enough polish between festivals. And there’s no promise that the polish might be available at future festivals. Thus far, alchemists have been unable to provide better polish to us. Save the rare master crafted polish from festivals for important projects that you are near to making perfectly – but the shop’s polish brings down the quality.

Is an investment in rare metal tools (chisel, riffler, rasp in glaes or a new saw in kadepa) worth the cost? They are more durable, and quicker to work with, but very costly. The answer is between you and your banker because of the cost. They will shave off seconds from each carve you make. Just make sure they are masterfully crafted. Talk to your local blacksmith.

Buy a cleaning cloth. These are used only on finished items to adjust the finished look. Weeks go by and I do not use mine. But when you need it, there is no replacement.

You will also find it helpful to have a packet of deeds. You can purchase them in the forging society (none are available at the Engineering Society for some reason) at the order desk right outside of all the forging arches. Deeds are used to store extra crafting material, including bone and stone, without the weight. The trade off, though, is that they count as 2 items, not just one.

Deeds record all the properties of the item. You can even deed something half-finished to complete it at a later time. When evaluating expensive and rare materials, sometimes you can’t appraise it carefully to see the properties. But you can deed it and read it there.

To use a deed, get your packet out, and PUSH bone/stone with packet. This works anywhere:

> push my stack with packet

> push rock with packet

To redeem a deed, tap the deed in a crafting society. This only works in a crafting society. (It works in any kind of Society, so when you are in one of the cities where there is no Engineering Society, only a Forging Society, you can still undeed and carve.)

Storing these 2-item deeds adds up. Use a Deed Register to store 50 deeds as one item. Pick up a FREE Deed Register from your local crafting society clerk. In the Crossing, see Rangu in the Engineering Society, and ask him for one. Sadly, we can only use one Deed Register, and 50 deeds is all it will hold.

Unfortunately, carving is not like other crafts, you can only store 100 pieces of bone in one bone stack, not the 400 of the outfitters, or 200 of the forgers. Rocks cannot be combined at all. So you will still have many deeds to keep track of that will not fit in the Deed Register.

The other sad truth about deeds and rocks is that even a boulder or large rock, which consists of 1 deed, can only make 1 little stirring rod, 1 little slickstone, or 2 sets of sling ammo. A weapon requires the bulk of a boulder, with enough left over to make some sling ammo. (Ask an outfitter how many things they can make from one full deed.) For grins, appraise items carefully in the middle of carving them to see how many hundreds, if not thousands, of stones of weight in rock you are chiseling off to make that one little item out of that boulder.


Using Your Carving Tools

Chisel (for rock only)

> cut rock with chisel

Bone Saw (for bone only)

> cut stack with saw

These tools as needed (bone and stone both):
As you carve with your chisel/saw, you’ll see times that you need to do something else.

Rifflers – this is a fine shaping tool

> rub {item} with riffler

Rasp – this is a rough smoothing tool

> scrape {item} with rasp

Polish – helps discolored areas

> apply polish to {item}

As you carve an item, you will see various (there are multiple ones) messages that tell you how well you are doing or what is wrong and what should be done next to fix it. They do NOT tell you what to use to fix it, exactly. If you analyze the item, though, that DOES tell you what you need to use. These progress messages will help you learn when to use which tool, and is completely standard and reliable. There are several different messages that mean use your rifflers, and several others that call for your rasp. The important take away here is that the specific action mentioned needs to be done RIGHT THEN in the progress of your carved item. If you carve with a chisel when it suggests there are uneven places, you will not ever get a master-crafted final item. Not following the instructions is a mistake, and counts against your quality. There is no recovering from a mistake, no matter how much skill you have.

Check your tools frequently for damage by analyzing them. Carving is very rough on tools. Never carve with them in “good” condition or lower. “Pristine” is the best they get, and somewhere while they are still “good” they start to damage what you’re working on. There is a tool repair counter in the Engineering Society, you can give your tool to Rangu (or whatever the repair person’s name is in other Engineering Societies) and he will charge you a small fee for the repair, just like weapon repair shops work. People who have the forging techs for tool repair can also repair them, in fact, if they have all three forging repair techniques for tools, their repairs will prevent damage for 2 hours. Tools begin to be repairable by you or your friend somewhere during “practically in mint condition”. The Society repair counter will repair at anything below “pristine”. It is ever so nice not to have to worry about tools for 2 hours! Check with your friends.

Sidenote: these 4 Blacksmithing techniques (one entry level smelting technique plus the 3 repairs ones) take 100 in forging skill to learn. If you are not friends with someone who can do this for you, it may be worth the investment of time for you to learn it. I learned them, and it’s so convenient. I listened to forging classes, I didn’t even step up to a hot forge once. It was awesome!

Smaller Sidenote: If a tool is too badly damaged, it will require multiple repairs to bring back to “pristine” condition. The repair counter in the Society always repairs it back to “pristine” with just one visit.

I never start a new work order or project without checking my tools. In the beginning, you will want to check for damage even half-way through a work order if you are using Engineering Society bought tools. It seems to me that the more skill I have learned, the less my tools damage.


The First Cut and Onwards

Pick out what you are going to carve first. Start with easy. These are the things in your carving book that appear on the lowest number pages of each chapter. In the description, look for the phrase:

“extremely easy piece to make”

  1. Use material with the highest number of workability you can find. For stone, this is alabaster (90 workability) from the Engineering Society Depot order desk. For bone, this is goblin bones (75 workability) that you buy/harvest on your own. The easiest bones sold in the Engineering Society shop are the deer bones (60 workability!). There is no bone of any kind that is easier to carve than those goblin bones at 75 workability.
  2. Turn to the page in the carving book
  3. Study book, then stow it.
  4. Get your chisel/saw out
  5. Get the material you will be using in your other hand, or on the ground, for rock.
  6. CARVE (or CUT) (stack/pebble,stone,rock,boulder) WITH (saw/chisel)
  7. Once the first cut is made, it is an unfinished {item}, all your work on it will be as this item. So the next one, presuming it does not require polish, a rasp, or the rifflers, will be:
  8. CARVE {item} with (saw/chisel)
  9. Sidenote: If your source material is more than you need for the template, the excess material will fall to your inventory at your feet.

The Shifting Pages of  Your Carving Book

From time to time, you will notice that the items on the pages of your Carving Book will have shifted around and stone shards, for instance, are now found on a different page.. They only shift within each tier, though.  the Engineering Society will add new instructions of things to make into your carving book, which can cause it. It also happens after one of those inexplicable rifts in the fabric of reality that happen from time to time when Greater Mages might have pushed magic too far.

III: Bone, Stone, or What?

The Engineering Society keeps a small supply of a few basic raw materials that you can use to practice your carving that are of passable quality. You can purchase these in the Engineering Society Depot. There are three kinds of stone with workability of 90, 60, and 40; and two kinds of bone, with a workability of 60 and 55.

The quality on these materials is only 80. There will be times you need better quality, easier to work with raw material, or perhaps more difficult. Then you will either need to obtain it yourself, or pay someone else to. The lack of beginning workability bones at the Society Depot’s Order Desk may be why people start with stones.

Stone comes from mining. Newer miners will be thrilled to sell rock to you. Remember to only purchase large rocks or boulders, or you will be completely overwhelmed in too many deeds.

Roll Yer Own Bones

Bones come from arranging dead creatures for bones. Not many creatures have bones. Even similar creatures do not have bones. Leucro bones, for instance, only come from the leucroes on Ratha. None of the rest of the leucroes have bones. (It’s a running joke about what allows them to stand…) Several types of bears and barghests have bones, but not all wolves. You get the picture.

After you successfully harvest high quality bones, they still need to be scraped clean (which is even more difficult than arranging the skining job for bones). After that, they need to be cured with bleaching solution that can take 2 hours or more. Bleaching solution is available from the main Engineering Society order desk. LOOK at a bleaching bone for an estimate of how long is left until it is cured. The more difficult of bone it is, the more likely it is going to lie to you about that estimate, though.

When do you want to get your own bones?

Goblin bones are some of the very easiest to carve, and luckily, also some of the easiest to harvest. When I started a new tier of work orders and could not get a master-crafted item from deer bones, I went out and got goblin bones every time.

Weapons are made from barghest bones. Armor from lava drakes, bison, sluagh, or leucro bones.

Random other bones are great for matching the difficulty of rare bones, and test them with the carving before you carve on something that cannot be replaced.

… Until enchanting is out, we really won’t know what else about bones will be important, or which bones that will entail.

To Stone or To Bone?

Each type of material has its own properties that form a unique set of pros and cons for you.

Stones Bones
1 There are three different difficulty (and hardness) sold in the Engineering Depot, including an easy one. There are only two kinds of bone sold in the Engineering Depot, with only a difference of 5 in workability, one 55 and one 60. Neither is suitable for starting out or for beginning some new tiers, and even goblin, the easiest bone there is – which you must harvest and cure yourself – still has 75 workability, compared to 99 for alabaster.
2 Stone seems a little more traditional of material. Bone tends to sound a little more grisly and spooky to people
3 Rocks are VERY heavy. Even a pebble weighs a lot. You can only pick up a stone or less, everything else must be carved where it is undeeded. You are pretty much tied to the Engineering Society when you carve on stones. Bone is totally portable, once you undeed it in any kind of society, you can put it in your pack and go work somewhere else.
4 Rock cannot be combined with other pieces, so each deed is pretty much only good to carve one thing. Sometimes two, for a few smaller templates. Bone stacks can be combined, but only up to 100 pieces.
5 The tools/ammo that people buy are made of rock. This is currently the largest number of marketable things. The only viable market for bone right now is armor – plus the very limited number of people who want a bone weapon for … bone’s sake.
6 Any miner can mine the different rocks for you, or you can do it yourself. Rocks are much easier to mine than metals, and come much cheaper. Harvesting, cleaning, and curing bone is not only time consuming, some of them require a great deal of skill, and the process can stretch the envelope of our item number limits. I now live forever in various degrees of threat of too high of inventory counts all the time.


Separating Bone Stacks into smaller ones

The time is going to come when you, or a client, needs only 3 pieces of bone from a stack of 25. Usually this is taken care of automatically during the process of making the first cut from a template. But what if they are selling or sharing the bone with someone, and not creating a new item?

  1. Hold the stack in one hand. (Damaris only knows why you have to hold it.)
  2. Mark the stack at the number of pieces you want cut off (mark my stack at 3)
  3. Cut the stack immediately with your bone saw (cut my stack with my saw)


IV: Harvesting Bones

Arranging creatures for bone is based on your skinning skill. It is accomplished like this:

> arrange goblin for bone

until you get the message that says it’s as good as it gets. It takes 5 arranges to complete the arrangement. If your skinning is not up to snuff, you’ll run the risk of damaging the bones with each successive arrange command.

You can learn a technique that lets you “arrange ALL for bone” in one single command, instead of the multiple commands you need to use without it. Currently the ARRANGE ALL technique is taught in both the Outfitting and Engineering Societies. The Powers The Be have noted that the arranging technique could switch to be used with only the Engineering tech, and the hide version of arrange all could be only the Tailoring technique. Maybe, some day.

In Engineering/Carving, the tech is called: Basic Bone Collecting

In Outfitting/Tailoring, the tech is called: Leather Tanning Expertise

Scraping (cleaning) the bones, too, is based on your skinning skill. Each snag in your scraping will reduce the quality of the bone by about 5. Bleaching (curing) them is based on your engineering skill.

You pour the bleach solution on once for a careful curing. This can enhance the quality of the bones a bit. (This enhancement of quality seems to grow with your engineering skill.) A single dose of bleach takes at least 2 hours to cure, some bones take even longer. Pouring subsequent doses of bleaching solution on them will let the bones cure faster, but will reduce the quality each time, by 10 or so quality. I have to be really, desperately in a hurry before I do this, and I need to know whether I can still mastercraft the resulting quality loss.

Quality counts, and it starts with your skinning habits.

If you are not able to get perfect bones, then your friendly local rangers will suggest:

  • Use only a dedicated, hand-held, skinning knife
  • Kneel when arranging and skinning
  • Agility buffs help (moon mages, bards, rangers, and maybe more have one)
  • See your favorite ranger for a Hands Of Lirisa spell that directly boosts your skinning

Bones are not light. When you start adding them to your bundle, be careful in a hunting ground that has creatures than can hurt you. The encumbrance adds up quickly.

Cleaning your bones starts with a good quality scraper. Buy a serrated steel hide scraper that has been forged masterfully. Keep it in perfect repair. If you barely skinned the bones well, you’re not going to be able to scrape them without harming the quality. Find some help to clean them in that case.

Remember that you can scrape careful, scrape, or scrape quick. The speed designation comes at the the end of the syntax:

> scrape bone with scraper

> scrape bone with scraper careful

> scrape bone with scraper quick

Once they are cleaned, you leave the realm of skinning and enter the realm of engineering for the curing. (Not that you learn any engineering from it.) Buy bleaching solution from the engineering society order desk. Pour your solution on the bone and wait for it to cure as described above.


V: Work Orders

If you are already familiar with work orders from one of the other societies, you can likely just skip this part.

Work orders have three uses. They help you learn your engineering skill by carving them. They earn you various degrees of prestige, and you will earn money from it. Your work orders are tracked in a logbook. Buy it at the society order desk, and rub it to bond it to you.

This logbook is irreplaceable. Do not lose it. They are not like deed registers at all. Every month or so, I register my logbook. If you lose it, there is nothing to track your cumulative work orders (and your prestige). You have to start over.

You can ask for three different levels of difficulty for a work order. Learn to trust Talia (or your other Engineering Society Master/Mistress) that she is going to give you carving work you CAN do – with the correct techniques. If she asks you to carve something you just don’t have the techs for, ask her for another work order.

Easy: MAYBE you need this when you are brand new to carving. Maybe. Least amount of prestige earned, and they will be things that may not even teach you to carve them that well.

Challenging: I’d start here to see if you can do them. If you can’t, and you have no other crafting skill, look for a bard to give you a Muse to boost your skill to be able to do them. These have the middle amount of prestige earned, and will be below your maximum carving ability.

Hard: This is what I always ask for if I can. There were only two rough spots that I could not complete these assignments with masterful carvings up to 700 skill. But I had neither a career or hobby at the time. Hard carving work gives you the maximum prestige, and generally represents the most difficult thing you can carve with your skill.

Syntax (study the Society task person if you forget). Hold your logbook in your right hand:

> ask Talia for hard carving work

To get your carved item into your logbook (works with items or items on deeds), hold the logbook in one hand, the item/deed in the other:

> bundle [ITEM] with logbook
> bundle Deed with logb

Turn in your work order when completed to Talia (or whomever it is in the Society you are in) by holding it in your right hand:

> give logbook to talia

Prestige: Your Name is Your Fame

Currently, there are only two things that use prestige. The first will be your maker’s mark, at about 150 hard work orders, or 300 challenging ones. (Those work order numbers apply if you turned in work orders at least every week and allowed none of your prestige to decay.) The second use is the prestige board that is in each society, and holds the 5 names of craftspeople with the most prestige. Other uses for prestige have been mentioned, but none have come to fruition as of this writing.

You earn prestige on work orders (most of it) plus some small bit when you stamp a crafted item with your maker’s mark. Carving without turning it in as a work order does not earn prestige (except for the little bit from marking it). Prestige decays after a week of turning in no work orders at the Society.

The most prestige comes from hard work orders. There is a prestige bonus for turning in master-crafted items in your work order, and for turning in 5 or 6 item work orders.

Remember, for the most Prestige, you want to:

  • Turn in hard work orders
  • Turn in 5 and 6 item work orders
  • Turn in masterfully crafted items in your work order
  • Mark your work orders and goods for sale with your maker’s mark stamp

Money: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Engineering Society pays you a set amount for your work orders. You will be paid more for master-crafted work. You will be paid more for work orders with more items. You will be paid more for using bones that are more valuable. You will also be paid more for work order items that use more bones. (a 15pc bone item pays out better than a 2pc bone item)

Botton line: don’t plan to get rich from work orders, or even make a living.


VI: Materials, Quality, and Difficulty/Workability

The end-game of carving is master-crafting something. Bards have a song that can buff your highest crafting skill by 10%. Other guilds, I understand, may have buffs, too. As far as we have been able to ascertain, no stats come into play with carving. Use the buffs from the various guilds if you are able, to get you over rough spots.

Here are the things that impact the final quality of the items you carve:

  • Your engineering skill ranks.
  • The quality of your tools. Don’t use the crappy iron stuff they sell at the order desk in the Society. And before you buy one from either a Plaza shop or a crafter, make sure it is master-crafted.
  • Difficulty or Workability of the bone/rock: APPRAISE the original material carefully to see the WORKABILTY property of it.
  • The Techniques you know: Every item in your carving book has a tech associated with it. This is specified in the description of the item on the page in the carving book. If you know the tech, it will be much easier to carve it. If you do not know the tech, you are going to need MANY more ranks of engineering to master the item and master-craft it.
  • Whether you have a Career (big bonus), hobby (bonus), or neither (no bonus) in carving. (See note below)
  • The quality of the material you are carving: Skill can overcome lack of quality in progressing degrees. There’s a tech to overcome some loss of quality, called Carved Material Detailing. If you are near the boundary of master-carving something, and pick up a 70 quality piece of material, it will not master-craft when a 99 quality item will. Unless you have that tech, and then it will master-craft for you. The first thing I did like this was so amazing!
  • The state of your tools: Remember what I said earlier about keeping your tools in pristine condition? As they get damaged by wear, they will not carve as well. There is a tech for this, too, but it doesn’t seem to me that it covers anywhere NEAR the breadth that the Carved Material Detailing covers. The tool one is called “Proper Carving Tool Care”.

A Note about Careers/Hobbies

In addition to the extra techs you get from declaring a career or a hobby in carving, there are carving boosts to the final quality of your item for a hobby, and even more for a career. Someone with a career and the exact same techs, skills, and bones used – will ALWAYs carve a higher quality item than someone with a hobby. The person with the hobby will carve better quality than someone without it. I estimate a career is worth a 10% boost in carving ranks, and a hobby is worth 5%, but … it’s just an estimate.

VII: Techniques

There are a number of techs for engineering. Plan them out carefully and they’ll work for you. The techniques themselves are listed at Elanthipedia. Please note that some of them have pre-requisites. Currently, no tech is required to carve a specific item. That means, with enough skill, you can still carve it. The technique for that item simply makes it easier to carve. When you gain new techniques based on your engineering skill follows this chart at Elanthipedia.

Declaring a hobby or career gains you more techniques slots, as well as a carving bonus on each item. But you are not required to declare one currently. You cannot un-do a hobby or career decision, so carve for a while to make sure it is what you want to do before taking this step.

Learning the specific tech for an item allows you to complete the item with considerably fewer skill ranks. The exact number seems to increase with the tier difficulty.

Recall the techs you already know with the command:

> craft carv

Note: as of this edit (15 Dec 2015), there are still two techniques which the Society will teach you, and cannot be used on anything. To unlearn these, they’ll also still charge you 62 platinums. Each. Bone armor strengthening and Bone armor reinforcing.


VIII: Auxiliary Skills

Every carver will benefit from a few non-engineering skills to make their life easier.

Appraisal – get it above 250 so you can start getting exact weights on the things you carve with a careful appraisal. It saves all those trips to Mama’s and fills your potential customers with confidence when you can appraise it and just say for certain that it weighs 32 stones. Remember, true weights are appraisals where you see certain AND exactly:

You are certain that the war hammer weighs exactly 68 stones.

Skinning – If you ever carve bones, you’re going to need all the skinning you can find. By 240 skinning, you can harvest and clean perfect barghest-bone (daytime, not nightime, though). Lava drakes, though? You’re going to want close to 1000 or more of skinning. Otherwise, you will be paying people to harvest and scrape them clean for you, and it does not come cheap. Oh, yes, plus, you’ll need the combat skills to face lava drakes.

Outdoorsmanship – Mining your own rocks means you will not have to pay for quartzite, limestone, slickstone, and other things.

Perception – Also used in mining

Common Sense – You’re going to be using sharp tools on materials you paid for in money or time and sweat. And you may be working quickly at times. If you’re tired or sick, wait til tomorrow before doing any work on expensive or rare material.

Arithmetic – Averaging out the quality of materials as you combine them is going to remind you of what your Algebra teacher told you, “You’re going to use Algebra for the rest of your life.”

Customer Service – You will one day approach the moment when you can sell your first master-crafted item to someone. They’re your customer. How you interact with them will make the difference of them returning to purchase again! Congratulations!


IX: References

Engineering Materials: Look here for sortable charts of stone and bone that will tell you the exact properties of common and rare materials.

Carving Products: I use this for a quick guide for the tier number and amount of bone pieces needed for a project. It’s in the carving book, but this is easier than finding today’s page number in the book and then converting it from RP-speak to real data. There are not many full details or appraisals for each item on finished pages, but until enchanting comes into play, I’m not sure it matters for the most part. I filled in all the weapons there in the Spring of 2014.

Bone armor results and appraisals were recorded by Ticrit right here at the Wren’s Nest


Version 1.0 28 May 2014 ~DD

Version 1.01 edits on 16 June 2014 ~DD

Version 1.02 edits on 9 Aug 2014 ~DD

Version 1.03 edits on 22 Sept 2014 ~DD

Version 1.04 edits on 13 Aug 2015 ~DD

Version 1.04 edits on 15 Dec 2015 ~DD