One thing with item creation has always confused me a bit, so I guess it's time to ask for help. See, I'm planning a magical staff for my Bjornaer Aquam-specialist. The description of the item would go like this:
A six foot staff of hazel, carved straight with depictions of water up to the fifth feet. There the carving changes into two otters swimming together in a spiral upwards to the end of the staff, where they both hold an elongated aquamarine together in their claws.
So, how do I open this item for enchantment? Do I open each part individually and pay for that in Vis, or do I pay only for the one part that costs the most Vis to open? The book says I can do both, but how do I decide on which?
So let me see if I get this right:
-The Hazel Staff (Large Wooden): 8 Vis
-Aquamarine (Tiny Precious Gem): 15 Vis
Now, will this cost me 15 Vis or 23 Vis in total? If I open each item individually, I can later invest the staff with 80 levels and the gem with 150 levels, right? And what about the Shape and Material Bonuses? Where do they come in? I'm somewhat confused with this?
Serfs parma and all that but he is how I understand it. I also have a magus with a composite staff and had a good think about working this all out, then wussed out and made it a talisman
For your staff, you can choose to, in one season, open either the gem or the staff or both together. Unless you are a magic theory monster you may not be able to do the later of course.
So case one. You open just the gem. You would now have the shape and material bonus from the gem and ONLY the shape bonus from the staff (because the gem is mounted on the staff). You do not get the material bonus for the hazel wood. The gems holds 150 levels of effects.
Case two. You open only the staff. You get the shape and material bonus for the staff and the shape bonus only from the aquamarine (note that there is unlikely to be any shape bonus from a gem). The staff holds 80 levels of effects.
Case three. You open both gem and staff. In one season if you have the magic theory, otherwise over two. You get the shape and material bonus from both staff and gem and can stick 230 lvls of effects into the finished device.
Personally, i would open the gem up, you get the shape bonus from the staff, which has lots of good bonuses, you get the material bonus from the gem, again good bonuses, and 150 lvls of effects should take you ages to fill up anyway. At a later date is you really need the room, you can always open up the staff too.
Opening a complex item can be done in one of 3 ways:
opening only a part of the item (i.e. the gem on the staff, or the staff only). This means you only get the shape bonus for the non-opened part.
opening the entire item, using the most expensive part (i.e. paying 15 vis, and the item having room for 150 lvls)
opening the entire item, using the sum of all the parts(i.e. paying 23 vis, and the item having room for 230 lvls).
The second option would most likely be common for talismans, as one rarely has the MT to enchant the sum of all the parts in such an item (espesially if it has 5 or more components, several being gems).