Bells of Fair Warning

All right, I came up with a neat idea but need some help making it work. It came from a discussion with Tyrrell about bells. That, and I remembered this post from ways back…

Bells of Fair Warning
Basically, a set of bells that are cast from the same lump of (insert metal that bells are made of). These bells would be pretty normal except, when they are rung, the action causes the other bells to ring in concert as long as the first bell (or any bell I guess) is manually rung.
It’s basically a security alarm that a person activates. I'm envisioning it as an Invested Item due to the level involved.


Rego/Terram with an Intellego requisite
-Base 3 (Move metal in natural fashion)
-Intellego requisite (+3)(to ‘hear’ the other bells)
-Range (Arcane Connection)
-Duration… (Momentary as its per ringing the bell?) or (Diameter)
-Target (Individual)
-Frequency (12x/day)
-Expiry (Unlimited)
-Linked Trigger (+3)(to respond to other bells)
-Users (+3)(only covenant residents)

Note the Shape Bonus from Bell (Warning).

  1. Where I’m getting hung up on is Duration… it’s powered by someone actually ringing the bell and the plan is that all the bells keep ringing when someone rings at least one of them. However, the other bells are ringing of their own accord so would that require them to maintain Concentration and use Concentration as duration?

  2. Also, assuming I use the same ‘batch’ of metal can I enchant them separately? Level 30 is pretty high to double up in a single enchantment since bells are so darn big.

It’s a level 30 effect right now but if duration went to Diameter that would change or if I had to add Concentration. I could remove the Users restriction but I kinda like that touch.

I would just point out one does not need a magical device to obtain the effect; there's a solution based on a non-ritual spell that's almost as practical as long as the number of locations you need "connected" is not too large.

The basic idea, if you want a grog at location A to ring an alarm at location B, is to use the Rego Imaginem level 15 guideline "Make an object appear (to one sense) to be up to in a location to which the caster as an Arcane Connection". Modified by +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle (ideally a circle traced on the outside rim of the bell -- though some storyguides may wrinkle their noses at "mobile Circles"), you have a Level 30 Rego Imaginem spell that, once cast on a bell, makes it sound in another location until the Circle is broken. In our saga, one of the characters has invented it, and would be willing to allow one to copy (under the Cow and Calf Oath) the Lab text for a pawn or two of vis or a small favour; for the same price, she would be willing to cast it on up to a dozen bells (provided she does not have to lose time travelling to do it).

I'm saying this if you want to justify in your saga the fact that your characters may "find" someone who can provide the lab text or directly the effect; there is another covenant (albeit in a different saga!) that has developed it.

To ring the alarm to multiple locations, just add bells.

If you´re just doing 2 bells, you can drop the Intellego requisite and make them affect each other when rung instead of "listening".
Linked trigger is not needed regardless. It´s for when you need to have multiple effects/spells work together.
Duration Diameter would probably be much preferred(or perhaps my other variant below).

If you´re doing them as invested items, you may just as well make it 2 spells and add the Linked Trigger back again. Then you get one spell with a Base 1 InTe that has the AC range and the Users restriction, and the other with Base 3 ReTe but without requisite and Range Self.

You could raise Frequency to unlimited instead. Then, as long as 1 is rung, the others will keep ringing.

Yes you can.

I would do it the other way around: enchant each bell with an ReTe effect that is triggered by the ringing and rings all the other bells. No need for an Intelligo requisite (ringing is a valid trigger for an effect). That way you don't need invested items, just lesser enchanted ones.

Base 3 (natural movement)
+4 Arcane Range
+0 Momentary (each casting of the effect is one 'ding')
+2 Group (ring all the other bells. As long as your bells are not too big, that's good for a lot of bells)
+10 levels unlimited uses
+3 levels users
Final level 38

As soon as you have one bell enchanted it can ring all the others (so you have a master bell and the rest are 'slaved' to it). Then you can keep enchanting additional bells as needed.

Note: the Momentary/Unlimited combination is probably the most economical. You could go for Diameter, so once the bell start ringing they ring for two minutes, but you still have to add extra uses per day on top to be safe.

My only concern is that even if cast from the same batch of metal, preferably all from ore collected in the same place, the arcane connections between the bells will eventually expire unless you fix them, and that is a lot of connections, and therefore seasons in the lab.

I think I would solve it with less enchanting and a little bit more fixing of connections.

First I would get a Mama-bell and a lot (a dozen is nice and magical) Baby-bells. Then I would fix the connections between them so they don't expire. Nice work for an apprentice or 3. They need the training :smiley:

Then I would make sure the Mama-bell was safely placed in the covenant and enchant only the Mama-bell with the following effects:

  1. Detect if any baby-bell is rung. InTe of rather lowish level, I would guess? (No book just now)
  2. Triggered by #1: Ring all the baby-bells for diameter. You don't want the alarm to stop at once if the problem eliminates the ringer.

This saves you the work of enchanting each baby-bell, for the cost of fixing the arcane connections. Probably much cheaper over all.

Yes, i was thinking the same first, however you then need to change target from Individual to Group, making the final level higher, making it harder to create as a lesser enchanted item, and if the lower level was too high already...

I think it not unreasonable to allow fixing all the connections at once.

Might work better yes.

So, "distance" between bells is undefined, right? For instance, one in each of several nearby towers, or cities, or Tribunals, or whatever? Hmmm...

You don't need the bells to keep ringing for 2 full minutes or more, right? A few rings will do the job.

So, Duration is "momentary" and you have a number of charges - if the bellringer wants to keep ringing, they can, but once the charges run out the other bells stop. (Also the "trigger" wold be defined as "someone ringing the bell", not "when one bell rings" - or you get a cascade effect between bells.)

If you want it to ring for as long as the "trigger" bell is ringing, then Concentration is pro'ly your best bet.

This might require Hermetic Architecture Mystery (or something in that chapter) (Mysteries Revised).

What if...

Instead of the actual bell ringing, it merely "echoed" the ringing of any other bell?

Rego Imagonem Base 15 (make one object ("sound of ringing bell") appear to be in AC location
+2 Group
+1 Touch (necessary? probably?)
= Lvl 30 (25?

(* I don't know if you can sell the idea that the sound is "personal" to the bell/enchanted item, but maybe!)

So that has an effect that takes the sound of the ringing of a bell*, and copies it to 10 locations - including its own, I would imagine (but not necessarily!)

(* But no sound louder than the shout of 1 human! Fewer locations would be proportionally louder.)

That's exactly the idea I proposed in the first answer to the OP!
The only difference is that if you cast it on a bell (or group of bells, so you do not run into volume issues) with Circle Target and Ring duration (and Touch Range), you can achieve the same effect without needing an invested item, but simply a Level 30 non-ritual spell.

Personal for an enchanted item is fine. The guideline is "make one object (the bell) appear to one sense (hearing) to be in a location etc. etc.".

Assuming(?) that your "circle" effect is kosher, it only moves the sound to 1 other bell afaict. If that bell then also moves the sound, then the sound is heard whereever it ends up, not at each bell along the way - the sound is moved, not "repeated".

"The object" for an Imagonem spell is an image (here, the image of "sound"), not a physical object. The noise is shifted, not the bell.

And I don't know how many SG's would believe that "the bell" and "the sound" are the same thing, "personally" identical. Maybe, but not necessarily.

Some storyguides may not accept a moving Circle, but a Circle drawn or engraved on the ground just around the bell is perfectly according to the RAW.

Maybe I wasn't clear. Suppose you have three locations that must be "alarmed". Each then has three bells. One rings locally, and each of the other two "projects" its sound to one of the two other locations. The sound stops there, it is not retransmitted. Yes, you do need to ring 10 bells if you want to sound the alarm in 10 different places.

I think you are misreading the guideline. The object is the physical object (in this case the bell) not the image. Otherwise the guidelines become nonsensical. Try to specify "sound" as the "object" and "sight" as the "sense": you get a nonsensical "make a sound appear (to sight) to be in a different location". But if instead you specify "bell" as the "object" and "sight" as the "sense", you get a very reasonable "make a bell appear (to sight) to be in a different location". Similarly, the sentence "Add a futher level of magnitude if the image is to change along with the object" becomes nonsensical if "object" is used to mean "image". Furthermore, in the same Rego Imaginem guidelines, there's an example where "object" is clearly identified as a "bag". And again, if the "object" were the "image", there could be no R:Personal Rego Imaginem spell, because the caster could never affect himself (rather than his image).

e - You need to clear your head of all these mis-understandings and re-read the Rules, both the text under "Imagonem", page 143, and also "Magical Senses" p 113. You are the one misreading, here. Really. :wink:

"Imagonem is the Form of sensation and illusion. By using Imagonem, you alter what others perceive..." (first line under "Imagonem", p 143).

Nothing "nonsensical" about that. The image of the appearance of the bell, the image of the sound, the image of the smell of the bell - that's what's affected. Never the actual "bell".

(If you moved the actual bell, it would be unclear which images were being affected - that the # of images is central to all the Imagonem guidelines.)

I'm sorry that this makes no sense to you.

Your example would take any "sound" image that is within "sight" range, and move it to where you want within "sight" range. So, if you could see someone talking from a long way off, you could move that "sound" to wherever you want within sight. Makes perfect sense to me (in a magical world, that is...)

I don't think you are hearing yourself - "you make the bell appear (to sight) to be in a different location" - that's the visual image that's being moved, not the bell itself.

You don't use "a sense" as a Target except w/ Intellego spells - very first line re Magical Senses on p 113. You are demonstrating that you are very confused here. (It's understandable - it's not always "intuitive" - but somehow you started on the wrong path and are now just reinforcing that errour.)

I think you need help understanding the language used. None of this is "nonsense". None. It may be a bit "magical", but in fact, it's quite simple.

If the bell is still (just "sitting there"), then the "visual image" is not changing; if the bell is swinging back and forth, then the visual image is changing. If the bell were a horn, and the "sound image" were one long blast, then that would not be changing - blaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!! If the bell were ringing, ding... dong... ding... dong..., then that is a "changing (auditory) image".

Yes - the "object", not the "Target". Read the Base 4 guidelines. Read the spell description.

The Target (the sound-image of the voice) is put in the object - the bag. This has nothing to do with Targets. Again - you are confoozled.

Look at "Invisibility of the Standing Wizard, PeVi 15" (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun) and compare that to "Veil of Invisibility PeIm 20" (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 changing image)- certainly looks like they're both there to me.

There are 5 possible images from any actual object - visual, sound, smell, taste, touch. Imagonem lets you manipulate those "images" as if they were actual "things". The Range is the range to the image. The Target is one (or more) of those images.

It's just that easy. Start there, and reread it all, and see if the "nonsense" doesn't start to go away. :wink:

Cuchulainshound, I really think there's a misunderstanding here. Read the Rego Imaginem guideline.

"... Add a futher level of magnitude if the image is to change along with the object."

How can you assume that "object" and "image" denote the very same thing in the sentence above? How can it possibly mean:

"...Add a further level of magnitude if the image is to change along with the image."?

I think it's crystal clear that "object" is the physical object, and "image" is its image, shifted by the Rego Imaginem spell. If we cannot agree on that, I think at least one of us does not master the English language sufficiently to keep this conversation fruitful. I do agree that Rego Imaginem moves the image of an object. But when the guidelines say "Make an object appear (to one sense) to be in a location etc. etc." it's very, very obvious to me that they are saying "Make a bell/person/castle/etc. appear (in terms of sound/smell/etc.) to be in a location etc. etc.".

They are not the same, I never said they were the same. The object is the physical thing - images are the sensations that humans perceive.

Where do you read that I did say anything like that? What, specifically, are you talking about? (as if I really want to ask...)

(Exception - As I said above, the ReIm 4 Guidelines (cf) talk about "another object", one that holds an image. This "object" has nothing to do with the "object" that is the source of the images affected by Imagonem.)

In your post above, just before you said I "need help understanding the language used". More precisely, this is what you wrote:

Anyway, I'm glad the misunderstanding is now cleared and you agree that, when the guidelines say "Make an object appear (to a sense) to be in a location etc. etc.", they mean "Make a bell/person/etc. appear (to sound/smell/etc.) to be in a location etc. etc.". So a magical bell that sends its sounds to a distant location (or a wizard who sends his visual image few steps away) can do so using Range: Personal.

As already noted, the best is Unlimited uses and Momentary as it will then keep ringing whenever the trigger bell is ringing. No reason at all to have the effect to be constant when you can get it more easily by constant repetition of momentary duration.

Projecting the sound of the bell, certainly Personal. It may need +1M for "changing" though, hard to say.