Enchanted items in the laboratory

Are there any advantages to using enchanted items in the laboratory? Specifically, could an item be enchanted with an intellego corpus effect, designed to provide information for use in lab procedures like developing healing magics, curses, longevity rituals, etc.? Or to enchant intellego vim effects into an item to enhance a magus's ability to understand the workings of magic's he/she may devise?

If so, how should one adjudicate such effects? As bonuses to lab totals?

Any ideas?

This is covered in Covenants.
If memory serves, the guideline was something like +1 to lab totals per magnitude of the effect, but only for related spells and enchantments. So an intellego corpus effect would give a bonus to corpus spells being invented, for example.

thank you, that should be very useful. My table game has some people with some very creative ideas for lab items. I guess I'll have to start picking up supplements as I'm able.

Hard to make suggestions that are not revealing info from the Covenants book, but...

It was twice that for specific Activities/Arts, 4x to improve a Lab Characteristic (like Quality or Safety - there are about a half dozen.) The effect didn't have to be Art-specific, just "appropriate" to the final bonus.

So, Angado - if you buy the book, there will be specific suggestions, but until you do that, your Troupe should ask... "What sort of sub-activities make up Lab Work?" And that might be different depending on what exact lab activity is involved - from the core book, Chap 8 "Labs", we have many activities listed - creating spells, creating enchantments, distilling vis, fixing Arcane Connections, talismans, familiars - the list is long, and what helps with one might - or might not - help with others.

If you can imagine some item/effect that would help, that would contribute significantly to the sub-processes involved, then allowing a small (+1, +2) bonus could certainly be reasonable. Think of anything/everything that an alchemist might do, or an astrologer, or a sage - or pull any "in the lab" scene from any fantasy (or other) movie or book - I picture stuff being boiled down, preserved in jars, test-spells being cast, processes being analyzed, perhaps tomes of lore, the stars or spirits being consulted, dry items ground to powder, various purification processes, cauldrons bubbling, crystals glowing, etc etc etc.

Any Technique could be relevant, and most any Form adapted to create a bonus to one or more of those sub-activities (tho' some jump to mind more than others.)

I've been reading the Lab chapter recently, and so am hesitant to make specific suggestions, but you're on the right track.

If ypou do not want to use Covenants, go for a pireamidal scale. Something like this:

5 magnitudes (25 levels) of items/effects: +1 lab total
15 magnitudes (75 levels) of items/effects: +2 lab total
30 magnitudes (150 levels) of items/effects: +3 lab total
....

etc etc. It is the usual piramidal scale of Ars Magica.

Works fairly well, and allows you to introduce quite a few cool items there without breaking the system. It worked IMS. We prefet this method since it was easier than the rules in covenants, that we found were too number-cruncher for us to like them. They are cool, but you have tp read them with extreme attention and take pains to understand them well to make them work properly in the opinion of my troupe (we might be wrong, but that is our vision here) so we opted for the quick and dirty method outlined above :slight_smile:

Obviousluy the items/effects must be designed to work in the lab, even if they might be movable.

Even if you prefer to go 100% kosher with the published rules, that might act as a plug while you get covenants. You will not regret it, even if you do not use it. We dpon't use it, but as a storyguide I have raided it extensively for story material :slight_smile:

Cheers,

Xavi

So then it would be appropriate to enchant items geared at assisting in particular laboratory activities?

Okay, so then perhaps an item enchanted with creo vim effects aimed specifically at aiding in vis extraction may be appropriate? Or enchanted items with intellego vim/intellego corpus effects aimed at assisting in the development of human tranformation spells/effects? That kind of narrow focus most appropriate?

Covenants gives lab personalization rules, and you are allowed up to Six specializations (if I recall correctly). No more than two can be activities, up to two can be Techniques, and any number can be form specializations. Activity specializations include Spells, Items, Familiars, Texts, Vis Extraction, and Longevity. You know the Techniques & Forms I presume :wink:

So for example, you could have a +2 Vis Extraction, +1 Spells, +1 Creo, +2 Intellego, +3 Corpus & +3 Vim.
Your Vis Extraction bonus would be +6 total for example.

In addition to the lab specialization rules, various magic items or effects can add to the general quality (bonus to all lab totals). Of course these can make labs very expensive in terms of upkeep.

(Greater feature/greater focus is general way to get lab specialization)

I thought the general idea behind magic items for the lab was that they -didn't- require upkeep.. that and lack of space being used, is usually why you take them over normal lab modifications

Depends on the item. Some items might reduce upkeep. Some might be charges items and add to upkeep. Some might be sources of magical lighting or heat (which are handled in their own area).

It all depends on the item.

Charged Items don't add to upkeep. You just have to obtain more of them once you run out. If your covenant has a large stockpile, then there is no immediate effect.

Okay then... so hypothetically...

Suppose I devise "device A" which incorporates 30 levels of effect CreoVim; and a second effect RegoVim of 30 levels of effect. Both effects designed specifically to aid in vis extraction. Does this item therefore count as 60 levels of effect for aiding vis extraction? Or does the fact that the highest levels are only 30 limit the gainful advantage of having such an item to 30 levels of effect aiding in that particular operation?

Is there a limit to the number of such devices that may be utilized with a particular operation? From the above example, could you make then utilize two different devices and still receive a benefit from each? Though the cost might be prohibitive, such lab items would seem to be useful in the long run.

Hope these question make sense...

I've typically just used the rules from the 4E wizards grimoire for getting a general lab bonus for all activities... Otherwise too much bookkeeping.

The rules from 5E Covenants are just as good i would say, depending on preference they may be better.

If all items are certainly useful in DIFFERENT ways for the task at hand, sure.
Its not that easy to think up items that are helpful but in radically different ways(no overlap). Still, your two 30 level items could then potentially together give a +6 bonus to a single lab specialisation. Sure it can be very helpful, but its very much not a cheap way to improve your lab. Its a good way for sure, but not cheap at all.

The 5th ed rules never get that particular - common sense is the only rule to worry about, whether it feels right for your Saga.

I would feel that a smaller effect would be "replaced" by a larger similar effect, and not added to. Any two "different" effects, even with the same Te/Fo, could add up if they were different enough.

By the rules offered in Covenants, one item adds to one Characteristic or one Activity (like General Quality, or Vis Extraction) - small amounts to the general ones, double to the more specific ones. By those guidelines, you would not have Level 30 ReVi device that applies its full weight to both Vis Extraction ~and~ Spell Creation ~and~ Lab Safety - tho' it could split the modifiers up between those, in fixed amounts.

The hard part might be to create massive/multiple effects "to order" - not every Level 30 effect would add +5 (or whatever) to Vis Extraction and ~only~ Vis Extraction - one might add +3 to VE and then a little to labwork with the Art of Vim, and another to Enchantments, or Device Analysis - or whatever. Again, what works best for your story, your character, your lab, your Troupe.