How often does an item activate in a round?

OK, examples here....
Assuming all items have sufficient uses for the purpose.

An item which deflects incoming attacks from its bearer. Using the base for deflect 1 attack that you are aware of, could the device deflect multiple attacks by activating repeatedly?

A large stone plinth that sharpens and cleans metal (Rego craft) that is placed upon it.
If two or three swords are placed on it in one round I can see it working, but if you just dump the entire covenant supply of metal across it, will it work on everything?
What happens if you empty the covenants yearly income onto it? (say 50 Lbs of coins at 240 per Lb thats 12,000 coins. do they all get sharpened and cleaned?)*

An item to deter scryers which puts up a Do Not Disturb sign at the scryers end of the intangible tunnel. activates once per round for each person scrying I'd guess, but what happens if there are multiple people scrying?

*How much damage would a sharpened coin do when fired using WtIS? +5 straight due to tumbling? Eldar shuriken launcher anyone?

My general feeling is that there should be a limit of (1/round)/(triggering event) for a single effect. I think it's fine for multiple effects to be triggered at once, either off the same trigger or off each other. But I do not think a single trigger should activate a single effect multiple times. This will also commonly place a limit on non-defensive (or reactionary as opposed to planned) effects because a single user can only do so much in one round to trigger an effect. Yet it keeps defensive effects from being overwhelmed.


I'd argue that if it's an external trigger that can happen multiple times simultaneously, it could be allowed. For example, if it protects the magus from sword-strokes by changing the swords to air (MuTe[Au]), it would kick in twice if he were stabbed twice.

Can a magus activate multiple effects by tying them to the same linked trigger? For example, have four effects that trigger when the magus grips a ring and thinks "Emergency!"
Shriek of the Impending Shafts
Circiling Winds of Protection
Invisibility of the Standing Wizard
Ward against Flame
Is it reasonable for all four of these to happen at once?

They're all different effects, the consensus seems yes.

The question is: can one effect trigger twice in a round?

By default I'd say no, but I can see why that is also not desirable. i.e. a Ward can affect all that cross it, but it is a totally different "implementation" of a magical effect. Perhaps the question is in the nature of the trigger which allows it to "see" multiple things and affect them.

As a suggestion an item creation modifier could be added to the rules to allow a trigger to invoke it's affect(s) more than once in a round. Making it the same as the scale used for item uses. This way it ramps up, but it worth for scenarios which need Unlimited instances of the trigger.


I'd argue that it can trigger multiple times in a round as a reaction, but cannot be activated with intentional will once per round.
Thus, a magus cannot enchant a PeCo effect and say "smack smack smack smack smack," inflicting 5 Heavy Wounds on a target in a single round. However, he could enchant it so that anyone striking him with their fist hard enough to deal a light wound, gets a heavy wound in turn, could go multiple times if several people mob him. (Easiest effect I could think of on short notice, sorry).

Correct. RAW spells seem to indicate this, yep. Active activation is once per round. Passive activation because of external action can cause mutiple activations in a round. They ALWAYS mean that several individuals are acting on the item in that case. Each individual gets one effect in reply. A single individual acting several times on the item only get one activation in return.


In Xavi's terms I would consider Environmental Trigger as an active activation so you cannot, for example, use D:Concentration, Environmental Trigger, and Unlimited Uses to make an unlimited number of effectively constant effects by having sunrise/sunset renew them all.


I wouldn't count of anything I say as being remotely correct, if I were you :mrgreen:

Quite likely I'm a bit thick today, but it seems contradictory to say that an effect can respond any number of times (as active responses to incoming attacks on the caster) but another of the caster's item to attack cannot be activated multiple times against the same target in the same round. I don't get it at the moment.

If a trigger can be activated once, then it can be activate once. I see that as totally separate from an effect specifically designed, which repels all swords for the combat round in it's design.

effect one - repel the bowman's arrow, will repel a single in-bound arrow targeting the recipient. The effect is present Momentarily.
effect two - repel the companies arrows, will repel all in-bound arrows on the targeted recipient. The effect is present for whatever duration is selected (Diameter maybe).

Now either effect can be triggered by an Environmental trigger. The first is likely to be lower level, so perhaps that is how we're meant to do it?

In Magi of Hermes, one of the Tytalus (the one with a sister, I believe it's Julia) has such a ring.
There are different effects in it, all activated by the exact same trigger, that change it's wearer face, voice... to a set one.
And when you activate them, they go off one by one, one effect per round.

So it seems that, at least, one item can only activate one effect per round. This is, of course, different from having one effect active throughout the round.

This is precisely how an overly defensive and powermongering munchkin player ruined House Verditius for me.

If for no other reason than "balance" I'll only allow one single item to be activated per round.
And hey, waddaya know, ArM5 page 100, left hand column, at the bottom, actually says: "You can only activate one device per round". So it stands to reason that it is abusive and contrary to the intention of the rules to use the same trigger for several devices to have them act at the same time.

PS Device triggers (usually) need to be physical - movement and/or sounds - not merely thinking! They'd need a linked InMe effect for this.

I'm in favor of making people work for their immunities.

Items activating one effect per round is RAW. Creating a linked trigger chain would be entirely reasonable, but the chain would kick off one after the other.

So shouting Emergency might turn on your ward against arrows (round 1) that then activates circling winds of protection (round 2) that then activates your...

The sensible item has effects with duration longer than momentary which you activate before getting yourself into a sticky situation. Having the subtle effects running all day (ward against arrows, ward against heat and flame) and activating the more blatant effects as required (circling winds of protection) is easy enough.

Items still have significant advantages over spells in these cases: you're unaffected by the realm interaction chart, and you can activate the item as long as you are capable of performing the activation process. Wound penalties or potentially even being restrained may still allow you to activate the item. And, of course, items can be given to others. A grog can activate an item that casts circling winds of protection - which can be effective if the grog and his immediate allies also have a ward against gale-force winds and then rush headlong into enemy formations like a bowling ball.

I endorse this point of view :smiley:

Items do need to penetrate to function in an aura of opposed alignment.

Err.... no. They need to penetrate to affect someone with magic resistance, but to function they do not.

Also, a single ITEM can be activated per round, but one item activation can trigger infinite EFFECTS contained in that item. I do not see this contradicting RAW at all...

Not that I specially favour that, but I am sure my troupe would point that out, since we use that all the time. In our past saga we have used enchanted shields with a multiplicity of wards and resistances activated all at once with a single command word, for example.


really? Hmm. that alters that plan even more. And makes items surprisingly` powerful.

That is precisely one of the great things about items, that they allow you to do funky stuff in powerful auras without the massive risk of botching :smiley: OTOH it is (almost) always easier to counter magic cast by items than magic cast by magi, since items can be destroyed quite easily if you put attention to them.


... and that boys and girls, is why older magi tend to create a number of devices, as soon as they have the Vis ...

I wouldn't mind an ST ruling that effects in an item must have separate triggers, or at most go off sequentially. An in-universe explanation of why they couldn't activate simultaneously could be something as simple as a limit of magic theory--the magic resonances would interfere with each other; they have to be compartmentalized.