Item penetration and Arcane Connections

Imagine, faced with a dragon of outstanding might, with immunity to many magics, the magi decide upon an enchanted sword given to their best warrior in an attempt to strike the beast a deathly blow in its only vulnerable spot.

Okay, there's the scenario. Now, having managed to retrieve a tuft of the dragons beard, can the magi build a device with higher penetration against that dragon by virtue of the arcane connection?

The weapon has an arcane connection to the beast, but how can that be leveraged?

It's sounding like this is a breakthrough opportunity.

As far as I can tell, it's the same issue as with casting tablets.

I've never really understood how it was resolved: as far as I could see, including an arcane connection in the design was more or less pointless, since you had to pay for the extra penetration in exactly the same way as if you didn't have the arcane connection. :unamused:

I'd say that this could be house rules territory as easily as breakthrough territory.

Yes, this is a sticky issue. Items have their own penetration independent of the magi's art scores and specialities. Therefore spell mastery and penetration bonus' are not included. Of course with an item you can cram in as much penetration as you want to.

Magi has Penetration score of 4, and a +3 AC. If they cast the spell they would have 4 * (1 + 3) = 16 penetration plus whatever extra they rolled.
Which would not be that great against a dragon. :frowning:

A sword in it's vulnerable spot, even with Edge of the Razor won't do that much damage..... Any other specific spell you had in mind?

Assuming that they want the extra penetration they will have to use a Greater enchanted Device. If they could do it as a lesser they could just hit it with the spell. So basic effect of 4th magnitude, 2 uses a day, and lots of Penetration.
MuTe lvl 20
Uses 2 (+1)
Penetration 78 (39)
gives a level 60 device which will fit in your iron/steel sword. A decent(ish) magi could craft this in 2 or 3 seasons.

However, if you design the effect specifically for the dragon using the AC, then you can probably get some Penetration into the effect. I don't see a problem with the basic effect using the mastery and Penetration scores - then the extra penetration is added in.
However, I would force the AC to be "fixed", or the item expires after the AC fades.
So against this dragon the sword would have (78 + 16) penetration, against anything else it would only have 78.

This would encourage magi to get Arcane Connections, and it would also encourage Verditius magi to learn Penetration.

No, no particular effect in mind. It was simply a hypothetical scenario to illustrate my question.

I didn't think there was much in the way of support for this at the moment so I might house-rule it (as suggested above) or make it a breakthrough target.

I was trying to track down any mention in fifth edition of items being taught abilities. I remember that fourth edition allowed a magus to teach an item one or more abilities and of course giving an item a penetration ability (leave aside the very muddied waters) would be a half-way house.

I think that a good house rule might be a flat bonus to penetration for including an AC in the item. I was thinking 2x's the penetration multiplier (making it +8 for a permanent AC? I imagine that this is the only option that will be used frequently).

The rule is simple and, on first glance, looks fairly impervious to abuse.

Concise and simple. That's what I like. And yes, it's probably just enough to make it feel worthwhile.

However, for those wishing to make "that one special weapon", I think some stronger effect and new rules might be required. And that would, I think, be breakthrough territory.

How about this?
Serf's parma, but penetration costs 1:2 in the effect level of an item, right? So may be if you have an AC, you would get 1:3 (or 1:4) during item creation for penetration against that one target and the normal 1:2 against all others. I would think you would need a fixed AC, which would cost an extra season to fix and then it is incorporated into the item and unusable otherwise. So an item with +20 penetration would have +30 (or +40) against this example dragon.
To avoid abuse, maybe the normal penetration becomes 1:1 against anyone other than the intended victim, and 1:3 or 1:4 against the intended victim.
This would be an expensive option, but would allow some amazing effects items that maximize story potential.

The simple way would be to declare that said AC has a S/M bonus for the effect. So, crafting sword of killing "named" dragon, one could use the tuft from the "named" dragon's beard in for the hilt - and suddenly you have a +8 s/m bonus to affect said dragon...

The more specific and exclusive the target (and attached AC) the more penetration you can get.

So Pen can be 1:2 for general stuff. 1:3 for race (ie "Dragons" or "wolves") and 1:4 for "Dragon Bob" or "Fox Reynard"). Quite easy :slight_smile: Idf you add restrictions it can be upped one category, for example, so you can get a 1:5 vs Dragon Bob if the sword ONLY works vs Dragon Bob. Quite easy if you like that kind of stuff.

For Race specific issues you need AC to 3+ members of the race. For Specific crweatures you need an AC to it. Easy.:slight_smile: Probably open to abuse, since I did not put much thought on this, but can make for some "Dragon of the Pyrinees" killer swords out there, with a +20 points of penetration required (!!!) to affect it with that single effect the sword carries.



Think of it like this: how does it work when applied to a wizard's war?

Getting hold of an AC to some Arch-magus, then crafting some anti-archmage item, and finally declaring a war, ain't that hard...

Sticking by the S/M rules does limit the exploit...

Unless the mage is paranoid and casts a spell to render all AC to himself (except his talisman) useless once a week or so. The magi IMS do that regularly. After some prevuious experiments it is the first spell they master with penetration regardless of their specializations.

I would only allow this to work for magical creatures anyway. That means creatures with built-in MR, not MR provided by arts and parma. Magi skirt the border of magic-land, but are not members of the supernatural realm IMS (more like IMO, than IMS, but hey). So nopm, you can't do the "anti-archmage Lucius sword of doom" IMS. :slight_smile: YMMV

That is the realm of the other supernatural realms, specially the infernal and divine ones IMS.



If I recall correctly...You cant cast spells on things you cant perceive, and ACs are a one way connection. That is: spells can be cast on you because of the AC but you cant cast spells on the AC if you dont know of it.

So unless you have a perdo vim effect constantly on you to expire all ACs as you create them I dont see how a weekly spell would do anything.

Mind posting what they use?

IIRC, You need the target on hand when you cast the spell in question. So any ac that someone has would be out of your reach. Of course it wouldn't be bad if you could cast on anyone who attacks you...

I don't like the idea of changing the Penetration of an item from 1:2 to 1:3 or more. I suppose that for starting Magi, this would be a great boon, but for older magi, this could get out of hand...very quickly.
The S/M bonus seems to be the best solution...Though this doesn't take into account a magus' Penetration score. Penetration though is a function of casting spells, not creating magic devices, so I wouldn't feel too bad not using it in this manner. If you REALLY wanted to make Verdi or others learn Penetraion, you could just add their Penetration ability if they have an AC. So a Penetration score of four (4) would add that amount to the lab total. This would seem to be more in line with how things work crafting items...

Can't recall if this is canon (probably not) but we allow the magi to cast it using an Open the intangible tunnel to their ACs using THEMSELVES as the AC to the AC. And then a PeVi effect to render it useless. No need to perceive it when you are yourself an AC to the AC of yours spread around the universe.

I like Urien's idea on the penetration bonus!! But it still seems too low for powerful ACs. x3 penetration or even x4 penetration skill would work better here IMO. Creatures that would beed to be smashed with such items ar elikely to be in the 50+ MR range. Otherwise you blast them away with a spell or 2. besides, I struggle to see how all those magical swords in myths would have penetrated the MR of the creatures they supposedly helped in kilñling, like dragons giants and malefic spirits. They must have had a HUGE MR!! Or be unaffected by MR completely, that is.

And there we see why I hate Parma and MR affecting stuff like edge of the razor.



Like I said though...too powerful.

My Verdi (maybe an unusal case) created an item with BoAF, with a Penetration of 82. If I were to take and add an AC with some multiplier, I can bet that I would find some way to magnify that so to take an above example...

(Sorry Xavi, I'm not picking on you here :blush: )

So If I took this example and used the 1:5 example...
With my Penetration of 5, I would generate a bonus of 25 to the items Penetration...
Just a bit excessive IMO. With that I could Penetrate just about any (insert any creature) without a problem. Sure that takes a couple of seasons, but what the hey...he's dead.
With a bonus of the Penetration score, this would just be a bonus of 5. This seems much more reasonable. Of course this is completely dependent on your Pen score, but (shrug) is that BAD?

Pen 82 can tear appart archangel michael already, so adding 25 points is not much, really. Do tyou want to take down the virgin mary? :wink:



:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

(I thought I saw Michael as having a 100 Might...:open_mouth:
Take him down? I think he would be able to soak it...
:cry: )

Which is kind of the point...

Everyone wants a bigger Penetration...for spells, items etc. Though I am all for everyone getting an edge, the problem is that magi who are ten to twenty years out of Gauntlet SHOULD have a problem getting larger Penetration scores. When you get to fifty or sixty years out, it should not be as hard...
Most of the games I see people posting about are 'younger magi' games, so things like this are sure to be important...and significant. As characters age, they get more powerful, so things like my example become much more possible. Of course my character is a specialist, as well as being older, but the point is the same...

It all depends on how old your magi is. 50 years past gauntlet? More?

For a mage with arts in the 20-30 range, even with a relevant focus, they really need all the extra pen they can get. Going out and risking life and limb to get an arcane connection, then spending the time to make it permanent, then building it into the magic item to kill the creature.

Would they waste a season and risk danger to get +8 pen? Or would they spend that extra season safe in their lab to make a higher level effect?

Assume Magus Alphonse has a Pen score of 5, a Creo of 20 and an Ignem of 20. MT 10, Int 4, Inv Gen +3, Phil 7, Craft 6, Aura 6, Lab bonus +3, he has a focus in fire.
Item Ball of Abysmal Flame Wand
CrIg 35 + 5 (24 uses)
Penetration ?

CrIg lab total is Cr + Ig + MT + Int + IG + (Phil + S&M > MT) + Craft + IG + Aura + bonus + focus
20 + 20 + 10 + 4 + 3 + 10 + 6 + 6 + 3 + 20
Lab total of 102

As the base item needs a lab total of 80, we can put in 22 lev of Pen - item is now lvl 51 effect.

If we drag this over 2 seasons to add more pen the numbers change to
102 / 2 = 51. Therefore can have a lvl 51 effect over 1 season. 22 Pen
102 / 3 = 34. Therefore can have a lvl 68 effect over 2 seasons. 56 Pen
102 / 4 = 25. Therefore can have a lvl 75 effect over 3 seasons. 70 Pen
102 / 5 = 20. Therefore can have a lvl 80 effect over 4 seasons. 80 Pen

As you can see, devoting extra seasons to the project gives you diminishing returns. You spend extra seasons to get less results. If the player had their AC they would still spend 3 seasons crafting the item, but would have a pen of 81 instead of 70.

Also, the ultimate SG decision - making an AC useful for an item gives the players a reason to go out and adventure for it.


Here's another approach.

The magus casting a spell to enhance a sword that he is holding already has an awesome AC, to the sword itself! He may well know when the sword was forged and have it's 'birth' horoscope. And so on. The spell will thus have an incredible penetration if the magus has a decent score in it, perhaps enough for the dragon.

(In a similar way, a magus who uses MuCo(An) to transform himself or a willing grog he knows well will have to worry about penetration only against the highest MRs.)