2nd May 2021 by Cattrina
A special tool is a prop that appears from nowhere when a character performs an action, fe. mines ore (Pickaxe) etc.
The prop is not carried in the character's inventory and as such cannot be lost or sold.
Making a Special Tool
Special tool is a mesh object that is not rigged to a character. Rigging the object to character will cause a crash in game. Instead, it follows the prop bone in the right hand of the character's skeleton. The origo of the object follows the center of the prop bone.
For easier administration, position the object in Blender so the origo is aligned with the handle, or the spot you want the character to hold it of. That way you can just align the prop bone to the center of the hand when you are making the animation. I also recommend making first a static pose so you can test the alignment and rotation of your mesh item ingame. Only after you have decided the object sits in hand well, proceed to making the rest of the animation. Carefully making sure each time you rotate the hand bone, you shift click also the prop bone and move them together.
A special tool is regarded as an item of clothing, even though you do not rig it to the avatar. For this reason the rules for making textures to clothing apply, same shininess and transparency rules.
Special tool and animations folder
Kenshi saves special tool rotational data somewhere in the animation skeleton folder path. I do not know how or why, but if you change the location of the animations, even with correct reference link in Animation Files, the rotation of the special tool brakes. Restoring the original folder structure repairs the issue. It is strongly suggested that you use the vanilla folder path structure from the start, so you do not have to face this issue later.
Making a completely new animation file and adding that to races did not fix this issue, nor did making new functions with old special tool nor recreating it from scratch.
For some reason the game cannot spawn a special tool if BF_TRAINING is selected. However you can just use BF_CHAIR or BF_THRONE and using the specific skill to train with special tool. You can't have a progress bar. It does not show the TRAIN as an option when selecting the item. And it does not have a training cap. Using BF_THRONE seems to reduce the amount of NPCs sitting in but not the PCs idling on the item.
BF_MINE does use special tool, but the character is randomly rotated around the object, so fe. lifting weights looks funny.
BF_FLUFF does nothing.