Artifice is essentially the same as Science, but it is referred to almost exclusively by this name in the Isles. Likewise, its practitioners are known as artificers, not scientists. It deals with creating elixirs, experimenting with Aranium and other metals, and burning shit for fun.
Not all humans in Arania can tap into a personal Essence pool. This requires a mortal to Awaken as a Mage. Other people, however, can still use magic in the form of magical contraptions – known commonly as enigmas. The main drawback is that they must have access to enigmas to use magic – enigmas can still give equipment bonuses, depending on their quality… or, conversely, cause Paradox. Thus, such characters have several fundamental changes to their mechanical rules.
That being said, someone has to make these things. Sure, anyone can use enigmas, be they Mage or mortal, lycan or undead (in fact, a large portion of vampires excel at the enigmatic arts), but it takes a true machinist to blend Her holy elements together to create a contraption that captures even a shadow of Magic. The pinnacle of magical technology rests with these such crafters.
In order to make an enigma, one must have access to chrysallis, in one of its forms, to power the machine; to Aranium, the Blessed golden-coppery metal that focuses the chrysallis; and to the proper tools and knowledge required to make it in the first place.
There are two different types of enigmas: those that have an immediate effect (one instant action), such as a hammer that uses Kinetic Blow against a target, and those that have a lasting effect (one scene), such as a pair of goggles that use a Mage Sight spell. Each type of activation consumes one chrysallis charge. Using an enigma utilizes the Arcanum rating of its creator (or effective Arcanum rating from a Machinist Merit, for machinists who have not Awakened). So if a machinist created the same Kinetic Blow hammer from before with an effective Forces dot rating of 4, the person using it would use a dice pool of their own Strength + Weaponry + Forces •••• to use it. Of course, being unfamiliar with the machine leaves the user with a -1 circumstantial penalty to his dice pool, and being the creator of the enigma (or likewise having paid close attention to the enigma’s creation during the process) can give the user a +1 bonus to his dice pool.
Creating an enigma is another matter entirely – after melting down or otherwise acquiring the appropriate shapes and amount of Aranium (using the Artifice Skill or the Resources Merit with a dot rating equal to the target amount of dots of spells being crafted into the enigma), crafting or acquiring the appropriate woodwork (Craft Skill or Resources Merit, as above), and creating or acquiring chrysallis power cells (both Craft and Artifice, or, again, the Resources Merit).
When all the components are obtained for proper assembly, the machinist rolls an extended Wits + Engimas roll with a target number of successes equal to the number of dots in the spell times five. The duration of each roll takes half an hour. Every additional spell invested requires five more successes than the last extended roll (as in, the first 2-dot spell requires ten successes and the next one-dot spell would also require ten successes). The enigma must have 1 dot of structure (typically a type of wood most appropriate to the invested spells) for each dot of spell that is being invested and 1 Resource dot of Aranium for each spell. One chrysallis charge is consumed for each roll made and a chrysallis cell must be connected to the enigma at all times during this process.
Dramatic Failure: The machinist ruins one or more of the components for the enigma (dissolves all the wood, corrodes the Aranium, evaporates the chrysalis, etc.) He has to acquire new components before continuing, and if he tries to reuse any of the components that survived the process, all rolls involving that component in both the creation and the utilization of the enigma receive a -1 penalty to their dice pools.
Failure: The machinist makes no significant progress towards his goal. He must pause for half an hour to reset his work area or else take a -2 penalty to the next roll in trying to maintain equilibrium of his components while he works.
Success: The machinist makes progress toward his goal of completing the enigma or the one spell he is working on for the enigma. If he reaches the target number of successes, the enigma is finished and probably needs a new chrysallis cell.
Exceptional Success: The machinist makes significant progress toward completing the enigma. Maybe the enigma is less likely to create Paradox when using the particular spell or perhaps a chrysallis charge is not consumed in this half-hour.
Again, this is essentially just a cosmetic renaming, as the two Skills are almost entirely the same. The academic structure (or more aptly lack thereof) in the Isles more closely resembles a practice of knowledge-gaining from rumors and word-of-mouth more so than of study. Leave that to a Mage.
Folklore, therefore, deals more with tales of monsters and nightfolk. A folklorist might remember halfway through a troll beating him to a pulp that the troll has a hell of an Achilles’ tendon. Though he might not know jack about how the vampiric bureaucracy of the Eyrie might work, he could certainly remember that vampires get really wicked sunburns.
Essentially the same as Drive, but it is more appropriate to refer to the Skill by this name for the purposes of “driving” in the Isles. It concerns more appropriate uses than conventional, modern-day vehicles, such as airships and carriages and rickshaws. Some vehicles, like airships, require a Skill Specialty to operate effectively (mechanically, the operator suffers an untrained -1 to his dice pool without the Specialty).