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

I also find the trigger being "draw blood" to allow a possible end-run around the uses per day.

Comparing two swords with the same effect, but different triggers, If I enchant a sword with a triggering action on strike/draw blood, I can drastically cut down the level of the final effect by dropping Unlimited swings per day to say 12 strikes that draw blood per day, saving another +6 to the final effect level, or making the penetration that much more deadly.

It is not a purely physical act upon the part of the wielder to draw blood (or on strike). It requires another participant, for lack of a better word. It's a condition that is independent of the item and the wielder to some extent, and something the item knows nothing about, can not know about. Acts of swinging the sword, moving the feet in a certain way, activation key words are all things that can be done by the wielder alone, even if there isn't a valid target present.

Now, if you want it to trigger based on drawing your own blood, that's totally different, but this drawing someone else's blood.

How does the wand know you are saying Abracadabra instead of Hocus Pocus? Drawing blood is a physical event, and specific triggers are specifically allowed. The effect is not triggered by contact with blood. Spilling some on it will have no effect. The wielder has to actually physically contact flesh and draw blood.
Having said that, a better trigger would be hitting or striking something. Not just a touch or a tap, specificity is allowed.
Or, to satisfy all the killer DM's who favor ultra restriction, make the trigger a word such as a battle cry, combined with a strike.

Ya know, I don't think that's being a killer DM.

A killer DM would allow a player to build a device under a certain set of assumptions, and then tell the character that it won't work as expected when it is complete and not allow the player to redo his seasonal activities for making the sword and not refunding the vis.

Setting limits about how you interpret the rules as to what can trigger a device is not being a killer DM. It might be more conservative than what you would do in your saga, but it's not designed to deliberately impact any one particular character, nor disadvantage a character after the fact.

I know the wand doesn't know I'm saying Abracadabra, or waving it in a specific way. I get that, but those are the allowed triggers, and as I said, it doesn't require anyone else to be involved for it to go off. I could fire my Wand of PoF all day long if I wanted to (Frequency aside), independent of anyone actually being on the receiving end of said Wand. That strikes me as a reasonable trigger. Or if an effect must draw blood to be active, then let it be the wielder's blood...


Here I am, agreeing with Jonathan. It happens! It happens!

A "strike" is not a physical action but a potential consequence of an action. Moreover, it implies intent, which requires an invested trigger. A "swing" is an action. Like baseball: "A swing and a hit."

Saying "Abracadabra" is a specific action. Saying it in b-flat is a specific action. Saying it in a fearful voice requires an invested trigger to determine "fearfulness."

However, I think that an item that is maintaining an active power that is not modifying the item or directly affecting the target does not need to penetrate MR, since the item is not a magical medium or a direct magical effect. This is similar to the way I don't think that a magus maintaining an Intellego effect who brawls with a being with MR needs to penetrate.



I tend to rule conservative, because it's so easy with Ars to put everything on easy mode and allow characters to just run over everything. Decisions made in the past have unintended consequences in the future. So I try and stick to a really conservative interpretation of RAW and open everything up with House Rules. Sometimes my interpretations are wrong, or even reasonable people can disagree with those interpretations, but that's where I'm coming from. Entropy can quickly kill any game, and in Ars, entropy is already turned up to 10. I don't need to go to 11.

The raw doesn't bear that out. Although it's a bit of a silly rule that an item with Intellego Corpus on it, running constantly to detect blood on the blade needing to penetrate.

The question becomes is the Intellego Corpus spell reasonably a Personal range spell as it is "wearing" or "carrying" the blood on it...

True, but the RAW supports the "pink dot" interpretation, and most of us know we ain't going there. :wink:

The simplest ruling is that, yes, the effect needs to penetrate, but not the item itself.

So, in the OP's example, the "breaking stone" or "fell trees" effect would need to penetrate, but the hammer or axe still lands as if it were any mundane object. If you stick with this simple distinction, there are few instances where problems can arise.

Rules don't bear that out for items, yeah. Not sure if it's the same for a magus.

Entropy: Definitely not turned up to 10. An 18th level D&D wizard or cleric causes much higher entropy. Nobilis also. (Sure, Lord Entropy can punish you, but God can do anything he can do and more.) Polaris :slight_smile:.

I don't think I ever had an 18th level wizard or cleric in D&D. They usually died.
Fighters and what problem.
Although the DM may have been a killer... :smiley:


Major Virtue, Social: GM's Girlfriend ftw

Indeed. Or how does a wand know that it's been pointed to a specific target? I assume that's what "pointing a wand" means in the text; since to point it you have to point it towards someone or something, who is a "third party" to the action just like a "blood donor" is to bloodletting :slight_smile:

Besides, nowhere in the text does it say that a "third party" can't be indirectly involved - that you can't make a hammer that breaks any wall that it(s user) strikes, or pixie dust that makes invisible whatever it's sprinkled on.

Why isn't "drawing blood" a specific action (without any "intentionality") ? Particularly in "mythic" terms, it's a very clear-cut (EDIT: unintended pun) physical concept. People can have a fight until first blood is drawn. Hospitality is violated if blood is drawn, even unintentionally. Etc.

Incidentally, I do agree that there may be situations where it's unclear if the trigger got activated or not. For example, if you wound a faerie princess who has wine "instead" of blood, are you "drawing blood"? These are interesting cases, with lots of story potential, that the troupe must arbitrate. Though this is true for almost any trigger: take "standing straight while saying Hocus Pocus" - what happens if a hunchback, or someone with a lisp, attempts to activate the trigger?

Drawing blood is clearly a "physical action that I can imagine". A very obvious one, in fact. Forcing intellego in this kind of effects would open the door to requiring intellego for all sorts of undesired things.

Striking the target is also clearly an action that can trigger as its specifically listed in the main book under charged items.

I can't see an issue with the trigger action of "drawing blood" for a weapon, but can see it as a huge conflict if that is drawing blood with some other circumstantial factors pertaining to an opponent. Drawing blood is something where the weapon would need to touch the blood in the activation too. KISS is the approach I take with activation triggers, and I'd veto or overtly complicate (through In effects) an item which tried to make circumstantial activation triggers.

Alright, since on strike is an example in the rules, I'll stipulate to it (without liking it). I just find drawing blood to be a different case.

On strike also requires an adjudication as to what a strike is. Is a strike attaining Attack Advantage? Or is it the Offensive combat total - defense total - defender's weapon/shield defensive bonus? It's not an insurmountable issue.

To add some annoying realism to the debate real sword fights can result in numerous cuts that probably don't amount to a light wound by themselves, and swords can also deal a lot of damage just through blunt force trauma particularly against armored foes.

So the a sword hasn't necessarily drawn blood just because your opponent has taken a wound. And just because your opponent hasn't taken a wound doesn't mean you haven't drawn blood.

Yes but is this a "Pink Dot" or a "Target/target" issue. I get these passion inciting rules pardoxes confused. :smiling_imp: