Does a device with "cooked vis" need to penentrate parma?

Pondering enchanted weapons and I can't find a ref to answer this: Does a weapon with "cooked vis" in it, meaning it has been opened for enchantment and maybe even has powers enchanted, but not actively under the effects of a spell need to penetrate MR?

I understand the active effect rules, that is direct and clear - but what about devices invested with magic which are not under a direct effect?
i.e. A hammer enchanted enchanted as a lesser device with an effect to break stone, or a greater device, say an axe to fell trees - do they bounce off MR?

I'm tending to say no, but then it will detect as imbued with magic for the purposes of InVi effects. Tad confused.

If the effect is active, yes, it needs to penetrate. It is the (in)famous pink dot defense debate. Any active effect on the weapon is resisted, even if the maguus is not the intended target of the spell. If the effect activates only under certain circumstances and it is not activated when it hits the magus, then no, it will not need to penetrate.

Damn, I love how fast you answered that Xavi. Thank you.
I guess it makes sense to allow all those lovely weapon-ish Tremere talismans to still hurt magical creatures.

I have always suspected that the reason that the multiplier of penetration for items is x2 per lab point is precisely to make talismans able to have powerful combat effects active in them.

For what I have in mind I'm thinking that its better to have a weapon-device with inactive support powers, but I'd not thought about using a specific Pen power. Interesting.

My goal is to work around the limitation of a hermetically transformed person having their attacks bouncing off MR when they strike. If the new form is humaniod (a MuCo to add a few size ranks) they can pick up an axe and go do their grizzly work, but a lion or bear form is limited against a creature with MR.

So I'm pondering creating specific transformation spells which make use of non-magical weapons in their form, or special weapons which don't have active effects. Like getting a set of "4-7 inch bear claws" crafted, and then making a specific spell which allows them to be used/held, but the claws are not part of the effect. I was even thinking of putting an effect into the claws so that they are very small most of the time (say transformed as straps of leather on each wrist), but when the effect is cancelled they revert to normal size, and have no active spell.

We worked around that in our recent War against davnalleus mini saga. We had some gruagachan carry trees as weapojns. They were transformed to be cudgels when they were in human form. So, when they were size 0 the weapons they carried were magically resisted. However when they transformed to giant size the weapon was NOT resisted since they were using mundane trees as weapons. They were quite a nasty surprise for us when one of the other SG unleashed this on us! It marked one of most ignominous defeats in the conflict and almost killed ignes festi before his time :laughing:

For what you want you could have mundanely crafted gauntlets that fit perfectly with the paws of your animal. Then an effect to transform them to gauntlets (MuAn/Te) when you switch to human form. You need a linked trigger for them to transform. What this causes is that your mundane punches will be magically resisted by parma, but your animal attacks (with the bonus of your claws being steel) will not be resisted despite you being in a form that is magically resisted herself. When you are in human form you are likely to be using Single Weapon anyway, so having your gauntlets be resisted is not a major problem. or make them transform to bracelets if you want them to be less detectable.


I always figured it was because penetration=(achieved level)-(required level); and for lesser enchanted devices you have to have twice as many levels as the effect.

Yup perfect. Im writing a series of blog posts at the moment on large and monster transformation spells, and part seven's draft already has the transformation of weapon concept, so it's nice to know I'm not off track.

The gruagachan example is a great one thematically. The blog posts part one has a giant transformation spell and I'll have to remember to reference this post as it fits so well.

I'm also thinking of making the items into unobtrusive shapes and worn in ordinary places.

So now just a small task to make a set lions gauntlets, or giant dragon claws. :slight_smile:

One of my favourite weapon ideas is simple but nasty. A touch range perdo corpus spell to inflict a light wound anytime the weapon draws blood.
The advantage is that its low enough that you can pile some penetration into the lab effect, enabling it to get through quite a bit of magic resistance. While a light wound isn't the end of the world, that extra -1 on all rolls for each wound really adds up quickly, especially when the target has good soak and is only taking light wounds anyway. Finally, since the weapon casts the effect, the weapon itself isn't under a magical effect. Therefore it isn't counted as magical. The weapon isn't resisted by MR, only the PeCo effect. So something with monstrous MR can still be harmed by the weapon.

I am a big fan of magical weapons in my saga and the PCs have recovered some really impressive ones. Take in mind that items of exceptional quality that are also items of quality (the verditius mystery) can be really quite deadly without any active magic.

e.g. a +3 quality sword that is an item of quality has a stat line
Init: +1
Att: +11
Def: +4
Dam: +6


I'm pretty sure that would infact be resisted.

Sounds like a linked trigger to an effect that detects blood, which means that the triggering mechanism is always active on the device. Otherwise, how does the item know it has drawn blood?

I'm aware I play with a slightly different definition of the rules for penetration, but in this case I thought I was using RAW.

Why would the sword be resisted? It is not magically effected. I certainly get that the PeCo effect will be, but what is it about the sword that makes it resistable? After all, if the effect was PeCo towards the caster, or MuCo, or CrCo towards the caster, the sword wouldn't be resisted.

Aaah, I see what you mean, Actually I've always allowed that trigger IMS as a normal activation. Essentially, cast on hit.

Assume same weapon but cast on hit rather than requiring a InCo linked trigger.

You've described the action of the sword as, when it draws blood it does a light wound. How does it know it has drawn blood? The sword must have another effect which detects blood on it, to trigger the effect of inflicting the light wound. The Intellego effect is always active. At the very least you're giving a free Intellego effect to the device (not RAW).

Eh? Why do you think it would not be resisted if it was directed towards the caster? I'm not following you here.

Ok, trigger on strike is not the same as trigger when item draws blood.

I disagree. By your argument, a wand activated by saying "Abracadabra" would require a permanent InIm effect to detect the sound "Abracadabra". Instead, "drawing blood with the sword" is simply the PeCo effect's trigger. This is in perfect agreement with the RAW:

No, I'm not saying that at all. This specific example only activates, by the description, when it draws blood. That's a very specific condition, that isn't anything like the piece you quote from the rules.

Let's quote the passage completely, because it says a lot more about the method for triggering effects in enchanted items.

The wielder must trigger the effect, that's plain to read. If the wielder is not triggering the effect, then it must be an Environmental trigger or a linked trigger. It can't be environmental in this case because there isn't a major magical change in the environment (sunrise/sunset, etc) to trigger the PeCo effect. Then the PeCo effect must be a linked trigger, which relies on a constant effect to trigger it.

The trigger for the device isn't a simple swing, as described by gribble it is drawing blood, which is far too specific to be a standard trigger, that is something the wielder is doing to activate the effect. If it were just a simple swing, IMO, the effect would be active when it hits the target and delivers the effect, and the effect (and the sword) would be resisted. I have no issues with the swinging of a sword being a triggering action, that's totally legit.

A trigger on strike is also a linked trigger, because whether or not the item strikes something isn't (entirely) the result of what someone has done to make the effect active.

Indeed. So the wielder's triggering action is "drawing blood with the sword", as I said. It's a trigger action performed by someone holding the item. It's physical (and, incidentally, quite in theme) and does not depend on intention. It seems to match the passage you quote perfectly.

Uh? Who says that a standard trigger can't be specific? The very passage you quote says the opposite: "offensive powers usually have very specific triggers". And frankly, I don't see how "drawing blood with the sword" is any more specific than, say, pronouncing a specific passphrase.

For what it is worth, I gotta side with Griobble & Ezzilino on this one. Drawing blood or hitting something both are physical actions caused by the wielder.

While I do think this is fairly open to interpretation and so easily adjustable from saga to saga, in general I would have to agree with Jonathan Link. How does the sword know it has drawn blood instead of sap (hitting a tree), water (made a leak in a beaver's dam), etc.? The action taken is swinging or thrusting or something similar with the sword. I could see hitting it against something as being a trigger, too. But knowing that it's drawn blood seems like a big stretch. Consider in canon that Hearbeast shapeshifting while touching (or perhaps wearing) your talisman is insufficient to trigger effects. That would seem to imply that identifying what is touching an item is insufficient. That would imply identifying that blood is drawn is insufficient and requires Intellego and Linked Trigger. But, as I said, YSMV.