Inheriting Talismans

The campaign in which I am playing is my first ever, I've bound a familiar, looking on the horizon to getting an apprentice, and looking into the distant horizon I've been compiling a wishlist of what my character would like in her Talisman. Seeing as she only has a Magic theory of 4 and the one I want needs MT 10 this will be a little way off.

So it got me thinking, when she makes her talisman will she be able to leave it to one of her apprentices in her will (leaving instructions on how to active the various effects etc), or does it only work for her?

have you ever had any campaigns where this has been an issue? I'm just curious on how other people have encountered this.


My PC in the Alpine Apprentice saga was loaned a Talisman, it did have an effect that made it only work for the owner, so House Tremere created a device that made my PC appear to be that magus, and it was a high enough level effect that it gave him a point of warping. The PC is the great-grand filius of the owner of the Talisman. He took it as a measure of great respect of his abilities that the House would lend it to him.
All of my reading on this suggests that it becomes a normal magic item. Effects that were tied to the owner may not even work, and effects that are not limited to applying to just the owner that are 30th level in effect (RDT+base guideline) should inflict a warping point whenever used. Now, these aren't exactly normal magic items, they are items with a lot of powers stuffed into them...

Unless the effects in a talisman are designed to be activated/work only on your character, they can be used by anyone. It is a magic effect. Hpowever, you are likely to instill a few Personal range effcts in your talisman that actually work on you, not the magic item since personal range works if it is your talisman. Those effects would not be able to be summoned by anyone except if they bound the talisman to themselves, something that iirc they cannot do since they diod not open the talisman for enchantment themselves. Tough luck on that last bit. The other effects, no problem getting them off.


I have been searching through Against the Dark for the reference that Tremere must make a Talisman before they get too old so it can be passed into the House and used in the future. I'll find it eventually but the precedence is there.

Now just think of the Tremere going to war and ALL of their Magi, young and old, have talismans to use. Some could have several.

My character in the Alpine Apprentice saga had a kick @$$ tool to use. Which was uber cool, since he has no combat capability at all. He was taking down vampires with it left and right. His Overconfidence led him to saying "I could do this all day."

The effect was a Ball of Abysmal Flame +30 penetration Unlimited uses per day.

Edit: Forgot to mention the reason why I replied is that the apprentice is a Tremere. And it is these resources that the House can bring to bear on problems they think they are helpful.

A talisman has no limit on effect or vis investment. Hence you can create a magic item that is ultrapowerful. Anyone can use it, even if it is not their talisman.

I thought they were limited by the sum of the two highest arts of the creator [strike]at the time of opening?[/strike]

Well, I think Xavi was using hyperbole...

But Art scores in the 20s aren't hard to get as has been discussed extensively elsewhere. Even the mid teens you've got a device invested with 30 pawns of vim which means room for a ton of effects... Even newly gauntled magi can expect to make a talisman that can have 20 pawns of vim in it by the time they're done fully preparing it with vim.

Actually I was posting away from books and with too much EXCEL spreadsheets on foreign trade data in mi mind playing tricks on my memory. But yes, I was referring to the fact that talismans tend to have more space than you are ever likely to use up. A lot more than regular items limited by form and material bonuses. You want all the powers of the X-men in a single device? You can invest them all in one of Gambit's cards. Be sure not to throw it, though. :mrgreen:

The tremere archmagi that are creating talismans are basically using this loophole in the fabric of reality to leave behind magic items that far exceed anything that should be possible given S&M formulas. I can easily see level 100 effects being invested in items (a fireball the size of France with enough penetration to open a hole through Saint Peter's doors? oh yeah! No need to make this one a ritual). This is what they leave behind: magic items that are very very very powerful and conditioned to the needs of the house, not their own magical research and their own little shortfall-avoiding effects. Items to make the wielder the perfect gladiator, or the perfect spy. Or whatever.


Fair, I'm guilty of that a hundred times a day too.

Corrected, of course this limitless device is probably filled primarily with useless range personal mentem effects that allowed the original magus to retain his or her experience, but this extravagant waste still makes it more resilient to stress tests ala City and Guild.

Naturally waiting around for its original owner to pass away may take a while.

House Tremere orders its older magi to make talismans, and keeps them in the most secure place it has, because, yes, you can pass them on, and yes, they do break the rules which limit every other magic item.

This is why the Tremere collection of these things is basically the nuclear stockpile of the Order. It's also a really fun part of playing a Tremere. You basically get the favourite moves of Gandalf, in stick form, for one games, and then the favourite moves of Merline in ring form for another. 8)

Unless I've forgotten something, even Tremere Talismans can only be passed on to the extent that they are functional invested items that have handy powers instilled in them.

The attunement bonuses only apply to the original owner. The talisman is an Arcane Connection to only it's original owner (and vice versa). Only the original owner has a bonus to instilling effects (indeed only the original owner can instill effects; ArM5, page 98 top of middle column).

So an "inherited" talisman is just an invested item. You don't get any of the special talisman benefits, and you cannot instill new effects. And having one doesn't prevent you from having your own talisman too. Of course, if it is the talisman of somebody powerful (like a dead Tremere elder) it probably has some neat/powerful effects instilled in it.

Of course, the other (real?) value of having a collection of the talismans of powerful dead Tremere, is that you have a collection of Arcane Connections to lots of powerful dead Tremere. Which could be a useful thing for a house full of powerful necromancers to have available in an emergency.

If I recall correctly, the core rule suggests that it's possible to limit the users of the talisman to certain groups of people, e.g. your Hermetic descendants, although it doesn't clearly state how to do it. I'd suggest InCo or InVi of low level to detect if the wielder is your descendant, and using Linked Trigger to allow activation of the powers based on that. So in this way you can leave the talisman for your apprentice (or House, whatever), without fearing it falling into the wrong hands.

Of course as noted above the "talisman" will still be a normal invested item, except with more powers, rather than having all the talisman-only perks like attuning bonuses or Personal range effects or so on.

Sorry, the special effect I meant was that the amount of stuff you can force into a talisman far exceeds the amount of stuff you can force into any other invested device. I do agree with your other points. For those, you need your own talisman or some sort of Breakthrough Research that allows talismanic rebinding.

I have no reason to doubt you on this (you probably wrote it!) but could you provide a reference? Because I think I missed that bit?

No books here, but it is certainly in the transylvania book. I remember reading this clearly, and going nuts on my couch when I imagined a raid by hedgies stealing these. Ever head of the portals of the Sahirs? There we go. Conquest of Constantinople and all that. :mrgreen: As Timothy says, a nuclear missile silo. Or the whole cold war armament stored up.


I would be more worried about the Red Library getting raided than some Talismans.

That was my immidiate thought as well, but since these Talismans would be just perfect indefinate arcane connections to every dead Tremere of significance I find it somewhat at odds with the Tremere obsession with keeping their members safe from necromancy, cf. HoH: TL p. 113 for the Gate of Eurydice and the Abyssal Bearer Vexillation of HoH: TL, p. 122.
Of have I just been overinterpreting again?

Probably the raider already knows the contents of the red library through other means. At least if you want the steal to be FOR REAL :wink: