Grapple Hook Talisman

Hi all

Part of my mage's talisman is a grapple hook. I have looked through the vers. 5 Ars rulebook and the vers. 4 Wizard's Grimoire for Shape and Material Bonuses, but so far have drawn a blank.

The closest I have found are:

Fishing Hook - +4 Catch Fish
Anchor - +5 Resist Movement, +3 Stability, +3 Security

Neither seem apt for this element of my talisman.

Does anyone know of another (preferably official Ars) source where I can find more Shape and Material bonuses, or can anyone advice what they'd give a grapple hook as appropriate Shape and Material bonuses?

Many thanks,


5e HoH:MC has a few, and TMRE has more (mostly similar to the ones in TM4e) - but Officialness isn't very important really - what matters is what works for your Saga.

I presume this is meant to be the sort of multi-pronged hook normally attached to a rope and thrown up and over a protusion, to attach the rope?
If so its properties/qualities are

  • reaching out
  • attaching at a distance
  • pulling in

and it's a common object, so no huge bonuses (such as rare/exotic items get).
Frankly the Anchor bonuses look ok - although its origin as not as a sea-anchor for a boat, it functions in a similar manner once attached.

Perhaps replace +3 Security with +2 "control at a distance"? (lower bonus as broader effect)

Yes, it is indeed that type of tool, and you're on the same wavelength about what I was thinking. I was also thinking a bunus to climbing might be appropriate?


probably - other than that there aren't really any spells I can think of specific to "climbing" - they tend to be much more general than that...

don't forget the bonuses for the rope!

Maybe +2 Overcoming Obstacles?

As for the Rope thing, I believe the grapple hook would include the rope as part of its whole. If it didn't you couldn't use the device after it's wrapped around the thing you want to climb.


surely not!
With rope attached to the metal it becomes a compound device and follows the compound-device rules (ArM5 p.97 col.3) - you have the choice to enchant the whole or part.
You can clearly enchant just the metal, and if you take no advantage of the shape of the rope, you need not keep the rope atached (ArM5 above).

Looking at other bonuses from shape, they derive from a parallel with the original mundane function but permit spells which stray well outside.
Thus a Climbing bonus almost certainly can be argued to include "Rise of the Feathery Body". Certainly a ReCo spell to let you stick to walls. These effects would be cast outside the device but using it, and would let the target "climb" just from the magic - no rope needed.

(an effect or spell, which requires some special condition while casting, does not in general require that condition once the magic is in effect (unless the effect is specifically designed for that.))

Good point.

I was thinking of using the hook in the way it was intended, then having your focus 50 feet away up a steep wall. Yes, you could cast Climb of the Human Spider with a bonus when the hook was in your hand, but you wouldn't get your bonus after you threw your hook and were climbing for your next spell if your first wore off during the climb.

Does an item really have to be of one substance? A staff full of gems can be enchanted as a staff, can't it ? This is a Shape bonus, not a material. I would think a grapnel can either be just the hook, or the hook and the rope. These three things could have different shape bonuses, 1 set for a hook , 1 set for a rope ,and 1 set for a grapnel hook (the hook and rope together).

Of course, I could be wrong....

no - but re-read very carefully the text "Preparation for Enchantment" ArM5 p.97

simplest is a single substance item. Open for Material * Size pawns. Available S&M bonuses are the substance (material) and any shape(s) it has. You can only use one shape in one enchantment, but if it has multiple shapes (carved wand?) and make an Invested device, you can choose shape for each enchantment.

-or- make a compound device and enchant only part of it (eg staff with gem on it). Choose one substance and open Material * Size pawns. You can use the shape of the compound if you like, but the device is broken if it comes apart.

-or- make a true compound device. choose one o the 2 methods listed (depends on what you want to do with the device, and how high Magic Theory is - never forget the limit of 2*MT per season!)
a) open device with pawns needed for most vis-full part
(eg iron-shod staff with gem - open for the cost fo the gem (12)
b) open device with vis for sum of all parts
iron shod staff (8 for wood staff, 5 for iron shoe, 12 for gem) =24 (needs MT 12! or other help like Verditius tricks)

When making a Talisman you are well advised to make a compound device with lots of materials, and open the largest. Then later open mor and more spaces (talisman trick!) and get attunements for all the different materials & shapes.

Many thanks to everyone for your advice. I will forward the link to this post to my storyguide.

For those of you that are interested, Santiago's talisman is a 2ft iron fan with a pin feather imbued into it. It has a jade and ruby set into the handle, and is attached to a 30ft chain with a grapple hook at the end. Very much a compound item!

Thanks again,


A grappling hook could perhaps also allow a bonus to immobilising a target (thinking of their nautical usage). If I recall my first-year Classics, the Latin word for a grappling hook is harpago, which would make a cool-sounding cognomen or nickname for a magus.

Especially if the SG has read some Molière.:wink:

OK, others rifled Molière's comedies, too.
Including very young Pushkin, who, when his early dramatic attempt 'L'Escamoteur' did not please his family, rhymed:
"Dis moi, pourquoi l'Escamoteur
Est-il sifflé par le parterre?
Hélas! c'est que le pauvre auteur
L'escamota de Molière."

Kind regards,


I'd forgotten about Harpagon, well remembered! Perhaps the magus, thus equipped, should become a wheezing miser too?

Funy you should mention that Jester, the magus in question, Santiago Ex Flambeau is actually quite wheezy, he started the game with the age flaw and has had some rather rubbish aging rolls since.

As for a miser, not sure about that but grump, curmudgeon and drunkard certainly.

So what's the verdict on the bonuses for my grapple hook then, oh mighty storyguide?