How long does it take to activate magic item?

How long does it take to activate magic item?
I cant find anything about this in the book.
I would argue to say a word to activate it takes less time then to cast a sell.
Other hand it would make magic items kinda OP or not?

1 combat round, so approximately 6 seconds. Same as it takes to swing a sword, since swinging a sword can be the trigger action.

Is this written in the books?
Can you make a magic item that activated in fast cast speed?
Or you mean its already fast cast speed?
Cause casting a spell takes longer then swinging a sword.

The combat rounds are an abstraction. The attack action is not one swing of a sword, it is 6 seconds of attacking.

Core rules page 100 left hand column, bottom has a billeted list of how devices work.
One effect from one item per round, that's your action. At Init of Qik + Stress die

HoH:Soc page 33 in the Flambeau chapter lists an effect modifier for devices, adding +3 to normal Init. So it is comparable to Fast Caster virtue ( or part of it anyway). Devices cannot be as fast and responsive as a Fast Cast spell, either Mastered for this effect or a Spontaneous one.

So normal spell have a qik+ sress die initiative? Cause in our group we played spells come after weapons. But cant find a rule for that, neither for that spell have initiative.
Where is it described? I have to show it to the DM :stuck_out_tongue:. Kinda no one knows the rules :smiley:

Page 174, first two paragraphs.

That's a holdover from previous editions, 4th and 3rd edition had magic last, IIRC.

2ed too.

IIRC, a round went something like....

First missiles
Move + Melee
Second Missiles

Fast cast was only for defense against magic. So grogs are very important, because magi are slooooow...

As a general rule, something should take one round. Sometimes it seems that it should be faster, but we abstract. Sometime slower, but again.

Now, some actions are obviously extended, and some obviously instant. But I would say that as a general rule...

So using Second Sight takes no time, unless you search. (Sort of the way you don't have to spend a round noticing the castle that's right in front of you.)
A quick search takes one round, just because.
An extended search can take days.

Casting a spell that does not have a specific and explicit rule to the contrary takes one round.
Casting a spell the does have such a rule obeys that rule.

So activating a magic item deliberately requires an action, although that action can be concurrent with another action. That action probably takes a round. Of course, an item that triggers based on "He spends two minutes chanting Ubba Ubba Ubba," will not active for two minutes...


Careful. You're basically saying that someone can activate a magic item and cast a spell or attack...

No no. I'm saying that the item can be activated via an attack, etc. Like a sword that casts PeCo(An) any time it causes something to bleed.

I figured as much, but the phrasing was ambiguous... :smiley:

This is why I like strike-rank systems for combat. It gets confusing otherwise.


Strike rank systems vary slightly, but the general gist is you have a range of numbers in a turn, the most common is 1 to 10.

So, let's say, for ars magica, we were making one.

Your strike rank would be 10 - your initiative.

Let's go with a weapon with Init +1, your quik is +2, so your total is +3.
Your strike rank is therefore 10-3, making 7.

As a result, you count up from 1. Your opponent, let's say, has Init 4 total. Meaning their strike rank is 6.

On rank 1, nothing happens
On rank 2, nothing happens
On rank 3, nothing happens
On rank 4, nothing happens
On rank 5, nothing happens
On rank 6, Your opponent takes their action
On rank 7, You take your action.
On rank 8, nothing happens
On rank 9, nothing happens
On rank 10, nothing happens

The reason I like strike rank systems, however, is if you get a low enough strike rank (5 or less), you get to go AGAIN when a multiple of your rank comes up.
Let's say you had a strike rank of 3, your opponent has 6 still.

On rank 1, nothing happens
On rank 2, nothing happens
On rank 3, You take your first action
On rank 4, nothing happens
On rank 5, nothing happens
On rank 6, Your opponent takes their action, you take your 2nd action
On rank 7, nothing happens
On rank 8, nothing happens
On rank 9, You take your third action
On rank 10, nothing happens

It allows for multiple events in a combat setup. So, longer weapons matter more, etc.

One of the variations of Shadowrun had this, I believe - with the modifier being -10. (So those folks with Wired Combat Reflexes, with a +7 to their strike rank, would almost always be going at least twice per round.)