Chains, quivers, and talismans

A player in my saga has been thinking about a new PC, a "weapon wielding" maga -- either a Flambeau of the school of Ramius, or a Criamon on the path of strife.

One "classic" trick for such a character is to enchant as a talisman her favourite weapon, so that on the one hand she can cast R:Touch spells through it, and on the other hand -- perhaps more importantly -- so that it is protected by her Parma and cannot be so easily warded off. This is great if the weapon is a long spear, or perhaps a long whip -- or even a warhammer with a handle enchanted to become really long on command. Not so great if the weapon is a bow, because it won't be the bow striking the target, but the arrows. This led me into thinking: could a maga enchant a whole quiver of arrows as a single talisman? After all, you can enchant a chain of metal rings as a single object; and it seems reasonable that you could enchant a pair of boots. Then, as long as the enchanter was touching a single arrow, the entire quiver would be considered touched, and thus protected. It sounds a bit iffy, but certainly more in the "spirit" of the rules than the "by the letter" solution that has the maga enchant some comb or such that changes one of her hair into an incredibly thin and long tether allowing her maintain physical contact with the arrow (without affecting its flight).

Comments? Suggestions?


I'd not allow it.

Under normal circumstances, a pair of boots always go together, almost like a pair of pants. The links in a chain are very clearly part of that chain and not part of some other chain. A quiver, otoh, works fine with any random group of arrows. Each arrow is usable just fine on its own too.




Note that I meant "a quiver of arrows" as a "group of arrows". Not as an actual quiver. You know, murder of crows and all that. I would also add that the links of a chain need not go together. They can go with some other links. Same thing for your shoestrings, they work as strings nicely without a shoe!

However! Let me raise :slight_smile:

If you would not allow the enchantment of the whole quiver of arrows as a single item, what's the most "elegant" way in which you would achieve having the maga effective "keep in touch" with the arrows she shoots? It's clearly possible with the "hair as a tether", but it's an ugly solution (though the more I think of it, the more it has that quaint strangeness of authentic old legends). It's possible by turning a tiny part of her mind into each arrow's fletching. Can you think anything better?

I've considered enchanting a whip talisman with two effects, one Rego effect to control its movement and one Muto effect to extend its length as needed.

Right! I agree (see the first post) that whips and weapons with a haft-that-becomes-longer-and-shorter are great as talismans for the warrior-maga, because they extend her reach (the most effective for a Criamon on the path of strife is probably a warhammer because, enigmatically, warhammers strike with great precision). But the question is: how can a maga achieve something mechanically similar as elegantly as possible if her weapon of choice is bow-and-arrows?

In case "elegantly" is not clear in this context, I mean something that comes "naturally" and would not be out of place in a real-world legend, rather than something that is clearly there to get as much oomph as possible out of the game's mechanics.


I misunderstood your intention. Even so, the arrows are utterly distinct from one another. Might as well bind a murder of crows as a familiar.

In the case of a chain, the chain really is one thing, not a group noun. Still, if a magus enchanted the entire chain as a Talisman, losing a link is as much of a big deal as losing part of a staff.

Shooting an arrow with hair as a tether would be an interesting exercise, at least using Archery rather than Finesse+magic! :slight_smile:

I don't even think the mind trick above would work. After all, why should that be any better than putting a bit of the maga's Corpus, say, hair into each arrow? It's now an AC, nothing more. The maga needs to touch her Talisman, and that's physically touching. Hmm. Unless maybe if she used MuCo to separate her hand from her body, and then send it, perhaps transformed into an arrow or holding an arrow, somewhere else? Then it's easy to argue that she's really touching her Talisman! And I don't think I could resist that argument, especially because to me it seems cool rather than gimmicky. At that point, the Talisman can be anything at all! Maybe that's what Vecna did. :slight_smile:



A hair enchanted with MuCo to become very long, very thin etc. so as not to interfere with the arrow in flight (perhaps even guide it, in fact)!
That sounds more elegant to me than sending a hand along...

Mmm. I see where you are going. I was assuming that if I can separate the mind from the body, and keep it working, I can separate a part from it, and keep it working ... but it's not obvious.

Anyway, the conundrum remains: for "reach" as a talisman, bow-and-arrows make more "mythic" sense than a warhammer with a lengthening haft. But I can't find an elegant way to match it through the mechanics!

But a sarisa Talisman is especially appropriate for increasing reach!

Groan. I agree, longspear is great! But I am not discussing the merits of the longspear, or the whip here. I am trying to see what can be done with bow-and-arrows.

Which the more I think about it ... the more they seem amenable to enchantment as one weapon. According to your criterion. After all, you write (and I agree):

Under normal circumstances, you use bow and arrows together. They are conceptually one weapon.
Sure, you could use the bow as an exercise machine to impress the ladies like Odysseos did, or the arrows as signs on a signpost, but there are uses for a single shoe, or just the buttons of your pants. Any while you can certainly use other arrows with that bow, or another bow with those arrows, you can certainly use a different shoestring on your shoes, or different pants to go with those buttons.

Yes, I knew you'd mentioned such things. I just figured I'd essentially second it.

But... I have an idea. What about a single arrow as a talisman that can duplicate itself. This would be somewhat like the magical wolf in the back of the core book using Pack of One. You'd probably want most powers that act on the talisman to be T: Group instead of T: Individual. I'm not sure exactly what would enable this, but based on Inmost Companion and Pack of One you'd be more likely to be able to consider the multiplied single arrow a single entity than you would a whole bunch of different arrows. And from the game balance side at least you're paying for the benefits by making the splitting effect and because of Group adding magnitudes over Individual. Don't forget to add penetration, though.

I disagree with the analogy. Just because a pair of boots go together doesn't mean any two random boots make a pair. Any one boot has one partner essentially paired with it. A bow isn't essentially paired with any given arrow. And those arrows in a quiver don't specifically work together in any way.

Yes, I had thought of that. The problem with that approach is threefold.
First of all, it's not entirely clear how the duplication should work Hermetically.
Second, when under "duplication" an arrow is magically resisted (uhm, maybe if you shoot the "original" and keep the duplicate...)
Third, I don't think it makes it less iffy that touching one object of the Group counts as "touching all"...

I am not saying it can't be done. But it introduces enough problems that, in comparison, allowing bow-and-arrows as a single entity seems a cleaner solution. At least to my eyes.

Well, I often end up using shoes from different pairs: there's a model I really like, I have 3 pairs of them, and sometimes I end up with one from a pair and one from another. Same with socks (the descendants of medieval pants)! And shoestrings don't go with a particular shoe either. Etc.

The issue here is that the parts form a single whole, even though different parts could be used to make the an equally functional whole. You can certainly use different shoestrings with your shoes. But the reason why shoestrings are Part of of a pair of shoes, is that shoes without shoestrings are not "complete" just as a bow without arrows is not complete: you can't use it as a bow.

While I can't help with your main question, have you considered the question of the penetration of your ranged weapon(s)?

I presume you are intending to attack a person/creature with Magic Resistance, since you want your weapon to be protected with your own Magic resistance.
What is the base Penetration of your Talisman immediately after you have opened it for enchantment?

I'd assume a "magical" weapon without active enchantments is not magically resisted. Any pointer to the contrary?


The same way a gun and bullets are not conceptually the same weapon. The gun is the weapon. The bullets are ammunition. A person needs food, but the food on my plate is not conceptually part of me.

A sarisa is designed to break down for marching, since 4-6 meters is a bit unwieldy. So if you enchanted one of those, then perhaps both parts are the Talisman. Perhaps. But if you held one half while you sent the other half somewhere else, I'd rule that you cannot deliver Touch spells via the untouched half.



What about the giving the Virtue Tethered Magic to this proposed magus?

Then when (s)he activates a power in his Talisman (a bow?) it can be tethered to the arrow.

If I understand Fafnir right, he wishes a weapon for a magus, which is protected from magic like a touched talisman, but like a mundane weapon not resisted. To give that weapon range, he suggests to open an object with several parts as a single talisman.
That brings, however, yet another problem with it: destroying just one part of that object also destroys the enchantment of the other parts and of the talisman.

So, if you make a handful of arrows your talisman, shoot one of them, and somebody just breaks that arrow shot, you have no talisman any longer, and any enchantments to the remaining group of arrows minus one vanish as well.
I don't see any elegant solution working around this shortcoming.

An archer magus works well:

  • he shoots mundane arrows to overcome Magic Resistance and Aegides,
  • enspells them before shooting to add effects - so they are resisted like Viea's,
  • magically modifies their material - so they are resisted again - to overcome wards keeping out specific materials,
  • and can, with specific long range effects and very good Finesse, Rego his arrows for some of their trajectory and leave them fly without magic for the rest.
    He is versatile as other magi are. And as other magi, he does not have all the bennies at once with each single attack.


Sadly no. It's a grey area as it's never been defined.
But! Why would you want a Talisman with no effects invested in it?
To increase reach for your spells? MuCo can make you body parts weirdly long. Or you could simply use intangible tunnel-like effects (eg The Evil Eye from HP).
To cover your weapon in you Magic Resistance? Why bother? If it's not enchanted, you can simply make/aquire a new one. Or perhaps keep a storage room of weapons, carry an AC to each, and then teleport one to hand as needed.

I'd enchant your armour instead.


I've also had great fun with arrows as charged items. Though obviously, the magus/-a does not have to fire these him-/herself.

OneShot summarized correctly the essence of my goal.
The idea is to make a "ranged" (1) weapon that is simultaneously protected by (2), and protected from (3) magic resistance.
If one achieves (2) via the "touched talisman" route, one will also be able to deliver Touch spells at range, but that's just a positive a side effect.

The reason why I'd want (2) is to avoid someone blocking/disabling the weapon through magic. The reason why I'd want (3) is to be able to use the weapon against magically resistant targets without worrying about penentration, as long as the weapon is used in a "mundane" fashion.

The question is not whether this goal is attainable. You can make such a weapon by simply taking a melee weapon as a talisman and, as the need arises, magically lengthening the non-striking portion - so that part of it remains in touch with you, and (the non-magical) part of it strikes the enemy. Or alternatively, tethering a ranged weapon to a portion of your body such as a hair and magically lengthening that portion (note that you are not cutting it off).

The question is whether the goal is attainable with "unmodified" bow and arrows; the choice of bows and arrows is merely an aesthetic one, so as to be able to implement a character concept based on bows and arrows, and so as to avoid this lengthening-to-preserve-touch which feels gimmicky despite being by-the-RAW.

I agree that's a vulnerability, but it's one that I'd be perfectly ok with. It has a certain "magic logic" to it: the only way to prevent the evil sorceress to strike you with her arrows is to break her arrows - any of her arrows, by virtue of magical contagion.