How does the virtue 'Side Effect' work?

I'm looking at making a character and the virtue 'side effect' has caught my eye - but I'm not sure quite how it works and a couple of questions come to mind

  • If a mage with this virtue creates an enchanted item, does that item also gain the side effect?
  • Can the side effect effect a spell being cast, or can it only effect the caster after the spell has been cast - the examples seem to suggest the latter
  • who does/can the side effect actually effect - is it only the caster or is it people in the area including the caster or people in the area other than the caster - or is this variable?

I tend to treat a Side Effect as an extra part of a Magus' casting sigil with a non-trivial effect. In other words, the Side Effect occurs whenever a casting sigil would. Though it probably takes as long as the spell being cast to be cast, before the Side Effect reaches full effect.

I can't recall if creating an enchanted item will cause it to express the creator's casting sigil. If it does, the Side Effect should also occur. Though for practical purposes, I would also say the casting sigil/Side Effect would only occur momentarily after an effect is triggered, like spell casting.

Since a casting sigil is part of the spell being cast, technically so is the Side Effect. But the Side Effect shouldn't produce its effect before the spell is cast. So even if your Side Effect is something like "The local magic aura within 1 pace of the caster increase by +1 for a number of rounds equal to the spell's magnitude", it won't affect the spell as it is being cast. But it might affect the next spell cast.

Side Effects should be as varied as casting sigils. Some affect the caster, some affect the spell target, some affect portions of the local area.

YMMV