Today I finished up the sword-crafting recipes, and thought a little more about how the mod as a whole will work. The way I envision it, there will be a series of four skills, each of which represent one of the four Homestuck kids (Dave, John, Jade, and Rose) as well as a distinct play-style (Melee/No Magic, Melee/Magic, Ranged/No Magic, Ranged/Magic). In addition to each skill having a unique set of abilities, players will start with one of 4 unique artifacts (A Sword, a Mace, a Crossbow and a Staff, respectively). While these artifacts start off weak, their real power lies in the fact that they are ingredients for much more powerful artifacts. To understand what I mean, take a look at the chart I drew up for the Caledscratch Family of weapons:
In this example, you start with the Broken Caledscratch, a poor weapon that's not much better than what you would normally start with. At smithing level 2, you can choose to upgrade this to the Snoop Dogg Sno Cone Machete, which is a pretty good weapon for the point in the game that you get it. At smithing level 4, you can upgrade the Broken Caledscratch to the regular Caledscratch, which is a great weapon by any means. If you were crafting this stuff without taking Dave's skill, this would be as far as you could go. BUT: If you fully upgrade Dave's skill, you get a bonus level of smithing on top of whatever other levels of smithing you already had, allowing you to craft the Scarlet Ribbitar, which is hands-down the best sword in the game.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "HEE HEE HOO, I'M JUST GOING TO TAKE ALL THE HOMESTUCK SKILLS SO I CAN GET ALL THE WEAPONS! ALL OF THEM!" Well you're certainly welcome to try... but it's probably not worth it. This is because each of these item families will use a different crafting skill, so you need to take more than one crafting skill if you want more than one "ultimate weapon". In addition, some of the skilltrees just won't be useful in certain character builds. Yes, I'm certain you can find a way to game the system so that you end up killing Lord Dredmor in one shot on the hardest difficulty, but given the way this game works you're probably going to be dead long before then.
Another thing I've been working on is something I'd like to call "True Alchemy". Basically this lets you "upgrade" an ingot by spending a new item called a "Build Grist" on it. I'm thinking I should make this a separate mod, though, because while it is a neat idea I just don't think it fits Homestuck all that well.