Death may Die
Designing the Procedure
In general, arcane design requires detailed, in-depth knowledge that would require a dedicated four-year Master’s degree and still only provide the basic roots of the design process. Fortunately, using ArCAD or similar software an arcane scientist can apply theoretical principles without having to go through the intense calculations, and keeping up in real time with the effects of alterations to the procedure.
Still, it is a time- and labor-intensive task. This functions as a Labor task. However, instead of quality-hours, it takes quality-days (a single “cycle” of the process occupies a full day of effort). In general, characters use Arcane Sciences for this Labor task, but it can be assisted by Research Analysis.
Keep in mind that to be able to design a procedure, you need the Design Skills for every component. Thus, if you have a complicated procedure, you may need a lot of secondary skills to get it done.
When using Arcane Sciences for arcane design, every result is against a roll of a difficulty. The difficulty depends on the arcane drafting software in use, the type of procedure in design, and other factors. Ties provide no benefit, but every point by which the roll succeeds provides one quality-day.
The base difficulty is d8. Reduce this by one die type if the character has the design notes for another, similar procedure (or knows by heart a similar procedure). If the character is using arcane design software, this will add an additional difficulty element depending on the design software employed. If the character is doing this by hand, not employing any design software at all, this increases the difficulty by +2d12.
On a tie or failure, no quality-days accrue. On a success, one quality-day accrues for every point by which the task succeeds (subtract the highest difficulty die from the highest result the character made). The character may put down this process at any time to do other things, provided he can keep his notes and progress. If he loses those, then he’ll have to start over from scratch.
Procedural design is a fast track to APF if the scientist isn’t careful. The process of designing an arcane procedure, far more than merely performing one, can throw the arcanist’s perspective off-center rapidly. Every day that somebody uses Arcane Sciences to develop an arcane procedure risks a slide into degeneracy. See the rules in that section for more information, keeping in mind that procedural drafting causes severe APF, not the mild form that implementation causes.
One of the unusual facets of arcane procedural development is the added stress of adding additional people to the workspace. The psychological problems set in with the process of groupthink.
When one person starts thinking well outside the box of human dignity, the individual can center himself to work against mental degeneracy. If several people coordinate outside the box of human dignity, it becomes a social process. A social process is that much harder to overcome.
One person in the team becomes the team lead. Every member of the team then uses Arcane Sciences (or Research Analysis, or both – see below). The lead uses Lead to coordinate. The team lead may take a number of results from the group equal to his Lead result.
However, every member of the group suffers additional consequences. When rolling the difficulty to resist APF degeneracy, roll an additional +d12 for difficulty. The team lead suffers considerable problems if he also contributes his own Arcane Sciences or Research Analysis. In this case, he must resist two hits of degeneracy per day.
Secondary research can greatly truncate the time investment in arcane design. It is possible for a person to engage in both research and design at the same time, but a coordinated team can include dedicated researchers and dedicated designers.
The designer must incorporate the research into the design, however. The research itself does nothing. Roll difficulty for Research Analysis separately. Accumulate every point of result, but keep it separate. For every quality-day of Arcane Sciences, one quality-day of Research Analysis can go towards the design result. Thus, Research Analysis can as much as double the effectiveness of the design process.
However, Research Analysis will also suffer the same APF degeneracy as Arcane Sciences. In addition, if someone performs both Arcane Sciences and Research Analysis simultaneously, roll an additional +d12 for the APF degeneracy difficulty (in this case, the character still only suffers one bout of degeneracy per day).