Hermetic items - levels or pawns?

Mixing levels and pawns in enchanted devices is a little confusing (and may vary from saga to saga). In the past, I only looked at the levels, 43 here and 35 there and usually my devices would have 7 or 8 levels left over. But then, when I was looking at something else, I wondered if my interpretation was wrong - should I be looking at whole pawns of vis instead of individual levels.

1 pawn = 10 levels of effect.
so if I open an item for 12 pawns of vis it can hold 120 levels of spells.
So, I can put in two effects - one of lvl 65 another of lvl 55
They both add up to 120. But when I actually do it with pawns of vis, I am putting in 7 pawns and 6 pawns, so my device now has 13 pawns of vis in it.

So, I can look at this in 2 different ways:

  1. levels are all that count - if you enchant something at level 65 you are actually putting 6.5 pawns of vis into an object, the other half a pawn is wasted.

  2. pawns are what count - if you enchant something at level 65 you are putting in 7 pawns of vis into the object, so there are 5 pawns left free. Ignore the "levels" of the object. If you opened it for 12 pawns of vim, you can only put 12 pawns into it. How efficiently you use those 12 pawns is up to you.

What do you guys think?

I would go with option 2.

Filling the item gradually means having to deal with the granularity and slight loss.

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Per the Core rules, "The total number of pawns of vis expended when instilling effects may not exceed the number of pawns of vis spent to prepare the item for enchantment."

Spending fractional Vis is not something that can be done by Hermetic Magic. There is the possibility to integrate the effect from a tradition that uses quarter pawns, though I would have to dig around to find it.

Option 2 is the way by RAW. However Option 1 would be a perfectly valid House Rule if your group wanted to go that way.

Soquotran Sorcerors from Rival Magic (but note it's tenth pawns rather than quarter pawns).

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Exactly this.

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Yes, this is the conclusion I came to. Talking about space for levels of effect in devices confuses the issue.

Pawns is the way to go. Unless someone has a good argument for the other way.