A Path to Steam
This skill represents talent at a visual art. A successful roll might let you create a recognizable likeness of a person or an object, or a work beautiful enough to sell (the GM should not allow a default roll for this use!). Time required is up to the GM.
Artist is based on IQ, but there are many situations in which the GM could logically ask for a DX-based roll, in which case modifiers for High Manual Dexterity (p. 59) or Ham-
Fisted (p. 138) would apply. In rare cases, even a ST-based Artist roll might make sense – for instance, to work with a physically tough material.
You must specialize in an art form. Common specialties include:
Body Art: Tattooing, piercing, and scarification. Both this specialty and Painting suffice for henna or temporary tattoos, but cosmetic surgery requires Surgery skill (p. 223).
Calligraphy: Beautiful and decorative handwriting. You need not be literate!
Drawing: All forms of charcoal, ink, pastel, and pencil work.
Illumination: Decorating written text with miniature paintings and pictures.
Illusion: Creating believable or evocative illusions. Prerequisite: magical or psionic illusion ability of some kind.
Interior Decorating: Creating pleasing building interiors by selecting appropriate paints, fixtures, and furniture. Default: Architecture-3.
Painting: All forms of painting, whether on paper, canvas, or a wall, and whether with tempera, oil-based paint, or something more exotic (like blood).
Pottery: Working with various sorts of ceramics – especially clay.
Scene Design: Designing sets for the stage. Default: Architecture-3.
Sculpting: Creating three-dimensional art from ivory, stone, metal, etc.
Woodworking: All forms of fine woodwork, including cabinet-making and decorative carving. Default: Carpentry-3.
Calligraphy, Drawing, Illumination, and Painting default to one another at -2, and to or from Body Art at -4. Interior Decorating, Scene Design, and Woodworking default
among themselves at -4. All other Artist specialties default to one another at -6.
An artist of any kind can take a further optional specialty (p. 169) in a particular medium or technique.
Many Artist specialties are used to earn a living rather than to create fine art, and some people regard them as “craft” skills, not “art” skills. It is up to you whether you focus on beauty, realism, or functionality.
Modifiers: Equipment modifiers (p.345); -2 if the medium is unfamiliar (e.g., tempera when you are used to oils); -5 if the medium is difficult (e.g., marble, for a sculptor).