Feedback on enchanted device house rule

In City and Guild there is a system for item breakage. In short, when the user of an item botches the player rolls a die versus and ease factor of 15 with some bonuses for the item's quality, the user's skill, some other stuff, and how enchanted it is. If the roll fails, the item breaks. There are also rules for some items having a several "health levels" allowing them to endure multiple botches before they're unusable.

Using this system once an item has sufficient enchantment it can get a +15 bonus from enchantment alone making it nearly impossible to ever have the item break (I'd bet that the roll is a stress so a botch may still allow a failure, but I'd have to go back and double check).

What would be the ramifications if we assumed that this supernatural resilience was more widely applicable than just not breaking during use? What if sufficiently enchanted devices really were absurdly difficult to damage or destroy?

Older enchanted devices would stick around for centuries (if not centuries, then at least since whenever this was integrated in hermetic magic).

The disenchant ritual would finally have a reason for existing.

Magi would be marginally less worried when their enchanted devices extend outside their parma.

I think that this would be a mostly positive change. What haven't I thought if?

What happens with a magus with "Inscription of the Soul" who has enchanted their body as a talisman? Do they get soak bonuses?

...already do this to an extent. Magic devices, unless stupidly fragile by construct, should not break at someone stuffing them in a backpack the wrong way;( does not apply to mere charged items where hillarity have come knocking).
Tend to go with 'spells to disintegrate enchanted item must >highest unmodified level(no pen/usesday etc)'; a PeHe 10 wont break your talisman wand because somehow that feels extremly... cheap... to easy... compared to the work applied, an enchanted item should take some "ritual" effort to destroy, eg stick it in a forge and smash it to pieces. ...snatching it from your grip on the other hand...
This is in no way ruleified(??), depends on what seems fitting and some ofc have taken extra precautions to protect their precious things...

I have played it that way, especially from the comment "When a story event threatens to break an item, the player makes a stress check..." One of my primary interests in doing so is as you mentioned, giving a point to Disenchant.

Do you play that every time someone botches anything they're doing they have to roll a stress check to see if their body breaks? Or do you handle characters differently than items?

C&G has a few rules apparently imported from That Other Game, like requiring items to be of a certain quality of craftsmanship in order to be enchanted. I don't approve, and indeed rather strongly disagree.

There is good precedent for enchanted items being more durable than non-enchanted item, and this would seem like a good rule to achieve that. But it's very "blanket" and means that every enchanted item becomes very durable. My preference is for this enhanced durability to be the result of seperate effects enchanted into the object. This also has the advantage of providing a reason to use the more expensive Invested Devices, rather than the cheaper Lesser Devices that seem to be all anybody ever creates in most of the sagas I play in. Well, Lesser and Charged Devices.

Requiring superior items for enchantment was a non-starter for me. It means verditious have to clear a really large hurdle before they can gain benefits of their house virtue.

It has the drawback of reducing the options available for the players but it gives us the benefit of.... anything? This is all downside!

As far as ignoring the rule to provide a larger benefit to invested devices compared to lesser enchantments or charged devices, you get that benefit with this rule as well (the bonus is per pawn enchanted, it's cumulative). It might not make such a difference to me (or I suspect most of you) in any case as I've never been eager to destroy an item that the player has had his or her character create without a really good story reason.

They aren't required to be superior quality items, as standard and shoddy quality items can still be enchanted at a penalty (-1/-3) to the Lab total, at least according to the sentence following the one that says they are required.


I very much like rules that encourage the use of magic in a game like AM. Enchanted items should be hard to destroy, whether deliberately or by accident. That encourages players to make them and use them.




I kind of like the idea that a magus investing an item with vis can automatically create that item, give appropriate raw materials. Better materials provide better bonuses, often accounted for in Form and Material charts.

From that perspective, rather than require high craftsmanship as a prerequisite for enchantment, high craftsmanship becomes a product of enchantment. Some formula based on the pawns of vis stuffed into an item. Instead of Verditius Runes, whose bonus is often non-existent, maybe Verditius items get a flat +3 to Lab Totals and effective Craft Level for the item, making items made by Verditus magi simply better, and obviously more desirable.

As for magi who turn their body into a talisman, the costs are already so high that another benefit isn't out of line. Alternatively, it is easy enough to rule that magi don't get that benefit because all magi get alternate benefits for becoming more magical, as reflected by their Arts.



I like the idea of cool talismans, like an herbam staff having live shoots, flowers, etc. So I rule enchanted items become warped to justify some cosmetic effects. I also like the idea of magic items being difficult to destroy, so I would explain it by warping again.

It seems reasonable to me enchanted devices have some control over warping since they kind of stabilize magic, in fact one of their points is to avoid it by avoiding spellcasting.

Characters differently from items, but with some significant similarities and parallels - taking "damage" (i.e. wounds) is a reasonably common result of botches, either directly ("take a medium wound") or indirectly ("soak +15 damage"). Arguing that if all enchanted items are tougher in the relevant way for items because of their enchantments means your body is tougher in the relevant way for a body if you enchant it, isn't therefore that much of a stretch (just...potentially a bit broken once you start being able to put talisman levels of enchantments in it, especially as it's more efficient than Gift of the Bear's Fortitude if you keep the "one increment per magnitude of effect" scale).

That would rock for immortal magi from Mysteries, Revised. Unlimited talisman spaces and every time they learn a spell or get XP they add one more enchantment...

Then I hope you're not just cherry-picking the good stuff. If you're ruling the magus's whole body as an enchanted item in these respects, you're not just letting anyone heal the magus, right? You require a Verditius with the right Mystery Virtue, right? So Creo Corpus ritual magic would no longer work on the person.

My reading of that section, and of the HoH:MC section, had been that you can easily repair the physical substance of an enchanted item - it's just that that's not enough to make the magic start working again. I'll agree your reading is a valid one as well, though.

My key point, though, is that this is probably something you want to specifically rule against if you're introducing "magical items are more difficult or damage or destroy in general" into your saga, at least if Inscription on the Soul has any likelihood of becoming relevant (tattoos aren't generally going to be too much of a problem, as they'll (usually) only cover a relatively small area and have fairly low vis capacities).

HP p.114 (box at the top) makes a distinction between "damaged" and "destroyed," and its specifically considering when a whole body is enchanted as a device. C&G also makes the same distinction between "damaged" and "broken" in several spots. For example,

The whole paragraph about wondrous and Hermetic stuff also distinctly identifies "damaged" as different from "broken." Note when wondrous items stop working v. when Hermetic ones do. I'm not saying "broken" isn't a subset of "damaged," but these sections make an effort to show "broken" is either more severe than "damaged" or is the most severe level of "damaged" at least five times.

As just being damaged, not broken, is insufficient to stop the Hermetic effects from working, there is no need for a Verditius to get the magic to start working again. So the language doesn't match up with that, seeing the distinction being made even in the very paragraph where the Verditius comment is made. So mundane craftsmen repairing damaged Hermetic items contradicts this rule.

Agreed - I hadn't spotted the Hermetic Projects box, but it seems fairly unambiguous. The main thing leading me the other way is that the HoH:MC section had described the physical mending as a purely mundane process that was fairly easy.