An Artifact is any object that requires inspection by the player or a creature with the tinkering skill to identify.
Generally, artifacts are pieces of lost technology, often originating from the lost civilization of the eaters (though some artifacts are decidedly more mundane, such as ).
A few examples of artifacts include:
In the same way that a person from the 1700s would not recognize or understand how to use a computer or smartphone, people in Qud do not immediately recognize or understand artifacts. Thus, before artifacts can be used, they must be inspected and identified. Artifacts can either be inspected from one's inventory or by paying water for an NPC with the appropriate skill to identify it for you.
Artifact inspection is an Intelligence-based roll against the difficulty of the artifact. If the player rolls poorly enough when inspecting the artifact, there is a risk of them breaking the artifact. The complexity of the artifact determines the degree of success required for a successful identification.
For a list of artifacts ordered by complexity, refer to the artifacts by complexity page.
Before an artifact is identified, it appears with a generic name and icon, such as strange tubes (which could be anything from a to a ). Sometimes other attributes, such as the weight of the unidentified artifact, can help narrow down what it actually is without identifying it.
A full list of unidentified artifact names, along with their weights and other attributes, can be found on the unidentified artifacts page.
Artifacts are often made up of a number of bits, and can be disassembled to recover some of these bits. Players with the Reverse Engineer skill also have a chance of learning an artifact's schematic when disassembling it, though there are generally better ways of learning schematics.