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A Primer to Trades

Trades in Aelyria allow characters to construct useful items or exercise profitable skills by using materials found in the world and often their own two hands.
Further Reading: A Primer to Skills



Trade skills are often profitable, allowing characters to generate a comfortable source of income to bolster them in their adventures. Trades are many and varied, as are the expectations of tradesmen in any given region or city. Some join factions or guilds according to local law and governance, while others operate independently. Each character will find their experiences with trades vary according to where they learn the skill, where they practice it and the people that help shape the ability both through mentorship and commissions.

[top]Types of Trade Skills

Crafting: Skills that create physical objects such as glassblowing, metalworking and alchemy.
Performance Art: Skills used in front of an audience such as acrobatics, acting and dancing.
Vocational: Skills that do not quite fit the crafting aspect of trades such as healing, thieving and cooking.

Trade skills are not to be confused with lore which are reservoirs of knowledge that cannot be progressively advanced.


All tradesmen have a specialization, whether or not they are a crafter, performer or a vocational tradesman. Specializations begin to develop almost from the very beginning, usually dependent upon the sort of training they receive. However specializations are truly formed starting at the professional level when the tradesman branches out on his own and begins to delve into his own skill and ability. Tradesmen are not limited to learning one specialization but the addition of others depends on hard work and exploration.
Examples of Specializations
Cat Burglar: A thief that specializes in breaking and entering into houses or buildings.
Lampworker: A glassblower that specializes in using a small lamp to create tiny pieces of glasswork.
Pastry Chef: A cook that specializes in preparing baked goods, pastries and desserts.
Weaponsmith: A blacksmith that specializes in creating weaponry.

[top]Skill Tree

As with other skills, proficiency with a given trade skill can be measured in five levels: Novice, Professional, Artisan, Master and Grandmaster.

[top]Learning a New Trade Skill

Most people interested in learning a trade join an established professional to work under and receive his guidance. This professional-novice dynamic is at the heart of the trade community with techniques passed from one to another so that they persist. Some individuals however refuse to enter into this bond, instead choosing to develop and hone their skills independently.


A tradesman at the novice level has only the basic knowledge of his craft. He usually works as an apprentice to someone of greater skill, such as a professional or an artisan. The novice's work is passable with simple pieces or work sellable to the public but a living off of novice skills is difficult without the support of someone already established in the field.


The tradesman that has earned the rank of professional is fully capable of working independent of his mentor and, in some cases, has moved on to establish his own place of business. Most shop owners and crafters in a given city or setting are considered to be professional tradesmen. Their work does not stand out as unique or innovative but standard and practical.


Artisans are those whose work is readily identifiable. Their abilities are such that they are known to be creative and distinctive in their choices. It is not unheard of to hear of artisans developing their own unique techniques or even making adjustments to their materials that they use to the betterment his craft. Artisans are generally sought after for delicate or complicated commissions.


Master tradesmen are the pioneers of their crafts, individuals that are not afraid to explore new challenges previously believed to be exceedingly difficult or even impossible. Masters will often begin to show promise of a skill that goes well and truly beyond limitation, manipulating themselves or their materials to do strange and unique things.


Grandmasters of the trade defy reality in their execution, making their endeavors mythical and fantastical in nature. Crafters are capable of flouting physical expectations of their materials to create such things as tattoos that take on lives of their own, capable of holding conversations with the individual upon which they are inked. Performers can so entrance a crowd that their dancing transports the audience into the very scene crafted by their body movements. Vocational tradesmen such as healers are rumored to be able to heal at a touch or application of pressure. The grandmaster's only limitations are what his own imagination sets.

Created by Nimh, July 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM
Last edited by Nimh, December 7, 2015 at 09:11 AM
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