So the Verdi need casting tools. Cool. Huzzah! Its apparently plural as well (but that might not mean it has to be plural). But other than that there is no real description of what they are? Their HoH book seems to imply that they are specific to formulaic spells, but it also claims they can have more than one "property". Soo... is there anything official? Or can they just have one staff that does it all?
I suppose this doesn't really matter, because they can always make a staff (or whatever) shaped holder for their casting tools and have it look the same, but I'm just curious.
Far as I can tell, they take about a hour to make, and are about the size and shape of little bracelet charms. Other then that, the only canon discussion of them is covered by the House Mystery the Verditius have to enchant their casting tools. So, the only hard and fast rule seems to be they cannot be enchanted in any way other then the House Mystery. So, wide slam open, and run amok!
The classic example is rings, one for each of the Forms. A character in Magi of Hermes uses needles, with which he pierces cloth. A recent Verditius in Tales of Power is notable for his especially awkward and difficult to transport tools, which are a hammer and anvil. He has them in a wagon which he has to cart around with him. No PC would be expected to take tools so cumbersome; it's done this way to give the bad guy magus a weakness the PCs can exploit.
Not stated anywhere I'm aware of. They exist, they have to be manipulated to cast Formulaic spells, they can be destroyed or taken away, and replacements can be made, with no mention of lab, tools, or materials, in about an hour. The end. I would say that it's left deliberately vague so that you can "scale" them to your game.
Casting tools used top be 1 per formulaic spell known by the verditius magus. As per the ArM5 core book right now (p.93) it seems that you can have just 2 of them for all your spells right now. And it is 2 of them minimum because it is tools (plural). Otherwise it could be as little as a single item to act as a key for all your formulaic spells.
I prefer the image of at least 15 (one for each TeFo combo) or one per Magnitude of spells, buyt that is a personal preference that has no relation with the rules
About size, as small or as large as you want. No rules on that. In an old supplement there was a magus that used a large drum per formulaic spell, IIRC; so it was quite spectacular to see him travel around with his large cart and certainty even more spectacular to see him work his formulaic magic. I always liked that image of the medieval heavy metal drummer :mrgreen:
Err, one per TeFO combo isn't that 50? And not 15?
Or do you mean one for each Art (15) and use the Tech + Form tools together?
Without looking in any books I would have thought it to be one tool per spell, but that may very well be legacy. I'm an old fart and have difficulties keeping old edition stuff out of the current rules, unless it's something I use regularly. And I never played a Verditius...well almost never.
From what's said in the Spontaneous Casting Tools flaw, 1 tool per Art makes sense. I had always assumed it was one tool per spell, or possibly group of similar spells, but I agree: there doesn't seem to be anything official other than the insinuation that they are small, non-cumbersome in the whole, and simple to manufacture. I think it is wide open, with the player-friendly feeling that they needn't be a bother to transport around unless that's what is desired for flavour.
I don't have my books with me, but I believe it is one focus per spell, if I'm worng please let me know.
Every printed Verditius magus in the books has a different casting tool for each spell (I think) and the only time there is a difference is when someone takes the actual flaws in the Mystery book. Those flaws are Consumed Casting Tools and tools for Spontaneous spells. And, I believe even with those they'd still need a different tool for each formulaic spell.
As for size, they're often charms, but you could reasonably take a flaw Restricted spell casting (or something that states your magic is unusable under certain conditions) and that condition could be casting tools of bulky size.
For some examples, here is my spell list with foci for Aodhan ex Verditius from the Insula Canaria PbP campaign:
Scales of the Magical Weight InVi 5 (+13) Pan from a balance
Sense the Nature of Vis InVi 5 (+13) Jeweler’s lens
Gather the Essence of the Beast ReVi 15 (+13) Pliers
The Miner’s Keen Eye InTe 20 (+13) Miner’s hat with candle
Touch of Midas CrTe 20 (+13) Hammer for striking coins
The Spell of Wrought Iron ReTe 15 (+13) Smithing hammer
The Phantom Blacksmith ReTe 20 (+13) Smithing hammer
The Crystal Dart MuTe 10 (+13) A wand of ash
The Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch CrCo 20 (+13) A carved piece of Amber
Aura of Rightful Authority ReMe 20 (+13) A small carved scepter
For Aodhan I went with tools, so they are a little bulky but not too bad. For some decent ideas on foci you could look at the various Form and Effect bonuses for different items and materials.
I notice there is nothing in the "Enchant Casting Tools" rules that makes them exclusive to the creator. Anyone who uses casting tools seems able to use them (the enchanted ones). The only downside seems to be the permanent arcane connection, but there are ways around that, or at the very least, a very solid reason for Verditius to get the merit, "Powerful Parens", and keep their nose clean until the will is read. Huh. What a weird and conceptual perk for House Verditius, they're the only ones who can inherit mastered spells !
I'd have to go with the original wording of casting tools in that each tool is unique to the original caster. And if they lose a tool they'd need to make a new one, taking about an hour. It wouldn't make sense to me that because the tool gets enchanted with a Mystery that it suddenly becomes usable to others. But it should be an Arcane Connection.
Once again, the Verditius in Tales of Power uses the same hammer and anvil to cast every single spell he knows. However, Petalichus in Magi of Hermes uses a different needle for every spell. So the canon would seem to embrace "whatever your player wants to do."
Meh, it doesn't actually say unique to them. The quote on p.93 is "They make these themselves, in a form that appeals to them, and it only takes an hour or so to make a new one.". This does not suggest a lot of effort, in fact it suggests very little effort, to the point one could make a casting tool out of a discarded candy wrapper. So my reading is that the shape and material are not important, just an hour or so to "attune" oneself to the tool. So taking a hour to "learn" a new casting tool that someone else made doesn't seem out of line to me. Your mileage may vary. I think the Verditius got more then their fair share of pain, getting Hubris in addition to the embarrassment of casting tools, so perhaps I am being too kind to them here......
You don't have to suppose, Enchanted Casting Tools are permanent Arcane Connections (P.123 HoH,MC). Mind, I think that's an error to be covered by errata, insofar as there is no such formal definition of a "Permanent Arcane Connection". I believe what the author wanted to say was that Enchanted Casting Tools are an Indefinite Arcane Connection, which does have a definition (P.84), the important part being on P.160, the PeVi sidebar, "Reduce the duration of an Arcane Connection by one step on the table on page 84. ....... Does not work on connections that naturally have Indefinite duration, .......".
Haven't read Tales of Power yet (I think I have it though). Just out of curiosity is there any special virtues or flaws that he has that allows that? I would assume not, but maybe he does?
Based on these two magi I'd have to agree that there is quite a lot of latitude.
For my campaign (and any Verditians I play) I have to make the casting tools unique to the caster, with a different tool for each spell. Even in the example list I gave above, he uses a smithing hammer for two spells, but he has two different hammers, one for each. If one were to use a single focus for every spell/art, they'd need to take some kind of virtue or flaws to allow for that. But that's not canon obviously.
As the guy behind both those magi, I have to say I do tend to embrace that flexibility. However, Avedutus from ToP does have a "selection of hammers", so I do pay lip-service to there being a number of different casting tools - I imagine them being the various size, shape, and even material tools and hammers as would be found in the workshop of a competent smith. But really, as a former Verditius player, as long as I have an idea of the kind of image involved with using the tools, I don't tend to design specific tools for specific spells. Maybe if I had invested time in enchanting them I might have altered that stance.
I think it's up to the player. Really, there are bad/good reasons both ways. One casting tool is easy to handle, but one thrown rock or spell and no spellcasting. Multiple casting tools avoid that, at the cost of continual fumbling for the right tool, which will probably be an issue Fastcasting, and, really, how many Arcane Connections (to you) are you comfortable making?
The Enchant Casting Tools mystery is quite clear on the fact that you enchant one specific tool (and only one) to cast one specific spell: you use that spell's Art for your Lab Total, which you compare to the spell's level, using your knowledge of the spell to get a bonus...
There's also the Consumed Casting Tools flaw, which says: "Making a casting tool for a spell that already has a casting tool erases the magical connection from the existing tool to the spell." once again saying a casting tool is specific to a spell.
Of course for Spontaneous Casting Tools (as per the Flaw) this is not possible so you get a tool per Art instead.
But nothing in Enchanted Casting Tools says that you cannot use the enchanted tool for other spells, just that only the one spell gets the bonus. The Consume Casting Tool flaw does not actually say that a casting tool is specific to a spell, just that you cannot "stack" them. You could very easily (if probably stupidly) have one casting tool for all your formulaic spells. Cast a spell, you loose access to all your formulaic spells until you spend an hour or so making a replacement. As to Spontaneous Casting Tools, you give us an example of casting tools not being unique to a spell, which is not helpful to your position. It is, of course, possible to make a unique Casting Tool for a spontaneous spell. Every Spontaneous Spell is unique, just "done on the fly", which means that in your game, a Verditius would have to spend an hour to make a casting tool for the spell he wished to cast. Not impossible in any way, just annoying, and certainly in line with Spontaneous Spell Casting, which is often cast as Ritual Magic, which is also quite time consuming. And nothing in game says you could not make them ahead of time, and there is an example of "prepared" Spontaneous Spells (can't remember the name, but I believe it was one of the Numerology Mysteries) in Canon. You are not getting a bonus for being prepared, but it is a flaw, yes?