Basically, I'm looking at three potential Breakthroughs, and I don't think any of them are Hermetic, but I'm in the throes of debate about whether their point requirements should be more in the Minor range or the Major range.
The first one is an Automata (HoH:MC page 128) Breakthrough... Basically, how much of a Breakthrough would it require to make non-facsimile Automata? Using the major methods of crafting regular Automata, but not requiring it to be in the shape of a living being.
The second one is a Breakthrough for somebody with the Awaken Device Virtue (Ancient Magic page 80) already integrated into their Hermetic magic. The normal usage of Awaken Device brings forth the spirit inherent in a proper simulacrum... The Breakthrough that I need to figure out the point cost for would be for somebody who wanted to be able to channel a pre-existing spirit into an Awakened Device instead.
Lastly, for either or both of Automata and Mechanica of Heron, what kind of Breakthrough would you consider appropriate for, I don't know how to phrase it, item incorporation? Like, taking a pre-existing enchanted item and magically joining it into an Automata or Awakened Device as you're building it, allowing the item to use the other device's Personal-range effects on itself and such, effectively building it in and making the items one.
Thanks for the help in figuring out what kinds of Breakthroughs these would be and how difficult they'd be, guys!
The first one might be easier then you think. After all, in Hermetic Magic, you can kind of "cheat" on what something is, using the Form and Effect bonuses. A Form and Effect bonus is a magical representation of a real thing, right? So a breakthrough that allows a Form and Effect bonus to "count" as the real shape should be all you need. Then you can carve "arms", "bones", "muscle", etc, and what not on your device, and it will still count as a body as far as the magic that goes into Automata. Working with the magic already in the game should be a lot easier then creating something whole clothe. Maybe 10 or so breakthrough points instead of 20+?
The second? Wow, hard. You are violating the item, and the spirit. By the rules, Awakened devices have spirits. You want to kick it out of it's home, and put an other spirit, one that you expect to gain the powers of the device just stripped of might by your actions, in it's place. That is a hot mess, and I confess I can't see any benefit, and a lot of downside.
As to the last, why would you need a breakthrough? Automata/Awakened devices don't have that good a Magic Resistance. Give the item a trigger that the A/A can do, give it enough penetration to get through the MR, give the item. What more do you need?
Interesting thoughts, and I like how this sounds. Thanks for your input here!
The Breakthrough here is not one that I'd expect to have much utility in the wider Order, but it does have a niche use for a player's character goal, so I'm going to have to figure it out nonetheless. To be fair, the simulacra's spirit isn't providing much more than the Might as far as I know, and the new spirit could probably take care of that with the Breakthrough. So you say it'd be hard... Hard as in a 50-point Breakthrough, perhaps? Still really high-end Major, but attainable with dedication. Or maybe a less life-goal-esque amount, like 40... Hm.
... Huh. Interesting point. A little Penetration on your effects is rarely a bad thing anyway, so I can see simply attaching the items in the normal way and using their effects as listed, rather than truly trying to make a combined item/Automata.
Ah. Then, for your second breakthrough, might I suggest "Spirit Binding"? Letting the spirit in the Awakened Item use the might of a spirit in a spirit vessel would seem a lot easier, maybe 10-15 points, as opposed to 40-50. Especially if it burns might being used that way......
The first and the third are of interest to me, having been working on similar projects.
That said, I found a nice, simple solution for the third. It's an age old solution, and has existed since before the time in question.
Simply make it so the automata has attachment points that can do things like press a runic symbol on the device. Then, your trigger condition for the attached device is "When the rune is touched by X (X being the material of the automata).
If you make yourself a ring out of that same material, you can use these devices yourself with a safety key
Of course, the big advantage of an "item integration" Breakthrough would be that you could use any item that could reasonably be built into an Automata, rather than only being able to build in items that were specifically designed for building into an Automata.
As for the second one, I wouldn't make it nearly so hard a Breakthrough. The Simulacra thing is awakening a slumbering spirit within the item and giving it control of the item. Using the same theoretical principles and some spirit binding, I could easily imagine binding an entirely new spirit and giving it control without the first one ever awakening or needing to be kicked out. I'd personally consider that a fair Minor Breakthrough, 25ish points.