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Pottery: A Guide to Pottery

by Etienne, Tunare Server

(DenMother's note: while this guide is many months out of date, it does provide some basic information for the beginning potter ...)

Pottery is a unique trade skill in a number of ways. First of all, pottery seems to be the only trade skill aimed at enhancing another trade skill. Most of the goods you'll manufacture with this skill will only be of interest to bakers. Second of all, it is the only trade skill, to the best of my knowledge, that requires you to make two skill attempts in order to manufacture goods. Third, itís incredibly easy to raise. Finally, you can make a good profit off this skill just selling goods to vendors though you'll have to have a high skill level before this is possible.

To start with, first verify that everything you need to practice pottery is readily available. That means you'll need to find a pottery wheel, kiln, and vendors to buy sketches, clay, and firing sheets from. When I first started practicing pottery I was using a pottery wheel and kiln in South Qeynos, buying my clay and firing sheets in West Karana, and was getting my sketches from a barbarian shaman who was making frequent trips between Halas and Qeynos. Trust me when I say it was a very frustrating period for me and I eventually just relocated to Halas, where I paid higher prices for raw materials and received lower prices for finished goods, just to have all of my pottery needs met in one small area. You'll eventually also want glass shards and bits of metal for more advanced pottery but you can worry about that when the time comes.

Next you'll want to spend a practice point on pottery just to get it started. Once you start practicing you'll find that pottery raises fairly easily and I certainly wouldn't spend more than 1 practice point on it. Certainly not before trying it a few times just to see what sort of raises you get on your own. Buy the basic pottery book for the instructions and "recipes."

The actual practice of pottery is a two-stage process. First you place a sketch, a flask of water, don't use the globes of water some casters can summon or the pods of water that woodsy types can forage for, the appropriate amount of clay, and any necessary extras like glass shards on a pottery wheel and click combine. If you're successful you'll be rewarded with an unfired product that you can then place in a kiln with the appropriate type of firing sheet(s) and combine to get your end product. When practicing keep working with an item until the pottery wheel returns the message that the item is trivial for someone of your skill level to make but ignore the kiln if it tells you that an item is trivial. It is harder to turn something out on the pottery wheel than it is to put it in the kiln to harden. The kiln will tell you something is trivial to make long before itís trivial to make on the pottery wheel.

Clay, firing sheets, and some sketches don't stack so when buying trade supplies you may find yourself pressed for space. Because of this I recommend that you don't buy firing sheets until you actually have unfired products ready to put in the kiln. Otherwise you'll probably wind up dragging around excess firing sheets that are filling inventory slots that could be better used carrying clay.

What to make? The first few items in the pottery book, skewers, ceramic linings, and clay jars, are good starts. After those, however, there's a sharp increase in prices. I've never made a pot because I can't find a pot sketch but it also calls for metal bits and a smith friend has told me that they cost around 7 gp to make. Smoker and cookie cutter sketches are expensive as well, running in the 5 to 6 gp range. As you can see, at this point failures become very costly and you may want to jump ahead to more difficult but cheaper items. As of this writing, the recipe for small bowls appears to be broken. At least I get the message that "those items don't appear to combine in those quantities" when I try it. However, the next recipe, pie tins, works just fine and, even better news, actually turns a tidy profit when successful. It costs me slightly under 2 gp to make a pie tin and I can sell it to a merchant for slightly over 5 gp for a profit of 3 gp and mind you I'm dealing with merchants who give me bad prices because they don't like me. Cake rounds are slightly more expensive to make since they require glass shards but they also return a profit. Beyond that, I don't know the profit potential of the larger bowls because I haven't tried them yet and probably won't until pie tins and cake rounds become trivial. I suspect some of them will be quite profitable too, especially mixing bowls which may actually have a player market now that the baker's recipe for clump of dough has been fixed.

Now if you'll excuse me, my cookies are about ready and they're always best straight out of the oven. (I like to bite the heads off the troll shaped ones.)

Addendum by Etienne:

Since the writing of this pottery guide, Verant has implemented a patch which has effectively made pottery non-viable as a trade skill. NPC merchants now pay below cost, in some cases as much as 1 to 2 pp below, on all items listed in the basic pottery book. NPC merchants also sell some pottery goods, primarily those that other players would be interested in buying, for less than a potter can make them. Which means that you will lose significant amounts of money practicing pottery, even when you successfully make whatever item it you're attempting, and then be unable to sell your goods to anyone but NPCs because players will prefer buying pottery goods at the lower NPC prices.

If you choose to be a potter then I urge you not to sell any of your more saleable goods (skewers, pie tins, cake rounds, muffin tins, mixing bowls, vials, etc.) to NPC merchants. They don't normally stock pottery goods so if we don't sell to them then they won't be able to undercut the prices we're now forced to charge in order to make a profit. When you generate excess stock of these items through practice, bank what you can to sell later and destroy the rest. I know that sounds bad but when you reach my skill level and are looking at expending 40-60 pp just to master large bowls, which are not a saleable item, you'll be thankful for the existence of a player market for your wares and that market can only exist if the merchants aren't undercutting us. Hopefully Verant will make pottery more viable some day but in the meantime this is what we have to do if we're to pay for our craft.

Created: 2003-05-05 02:36:04          
Last Modified By: EQTC Editor Aanuvane          
Last Modified on: 2010-11-27 09:43:28          

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