Item to detect and spot vis


I'd like to design an item which allow a compagnon to detect presence of vis in his sight reach (maybe a sort of compass, but possibly a totally different shape).
I thought it would be easily designed, but looks like it's not so much.
My dilem is about the reach: item needs a reach "touch" to affect the wearer, but then, what would be the area of detection for the compagnon? Looks like it would be "touch" as well, which is not what i wish.
I wish the item make the compagnion aware of the presence of vis in his surrounding, not only touch reach, and possibly show the direction.
The item is intended to be lesser enchantment.

So, should i consider "touch" reach solve my problem? Or is it more complicated?

Thank you for any help :smiley:

Use the "sight reach".
After all, "touch" is within the sight reach. Even if you were blinded...

(f - "sight reach"? You mean "Sight Range"???)

Check out the 1st 2 paragraphs under "Magical Senses" (very bottom p 113 to 114). The range is Touch, the Target is a Sense (dealer's choice).

InVi, Base 1, +1 Touch, +X (Duration), +Y (Sense Affected)

So, maybe something like...

(EDIT: Corrected Math Values, below)

Helmet of Vis Detection (?*)
InVi 21 (15)
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +4 Sight; +5 Levels item maintains concentration, +1 Level usable 2x/day.)

(* Helmets have a big S&M bonus to "seeing". Other options are certainly viable.)

Of course, if the vis is hidden, then Hearing might be more desirable, for instance in a heavy forest or a dark cave, or whatever.

(By the rules, there is no mechanism for incorporating two or more senses into a single Intellego spell. Maybe just add the magnitudes necessary?)

Another alternative would be something like the compass suggested, where the item itself does the detecting, and "indicates" the information to the wielder.

I meant sight range, yes.

Thank you, it's exactly the answer i needed :wink:

It's a quirky corner of the rules - someone did the same for me once upon a time. No prob, good luck! :wink:

Need to check your rules again Cuchul. It costs a magnitude (+5) to enable an item to maintain concentration for the wielder. :wink:

I suspect you are thinking of 4th Ed. cost.

No, I was most likely thinking of Environmental Trigger, which crossed my mind when I made the duration "Sun" and put 2 uses. Not necessary with this item.

But good catch, thanks- will correct above.

(I am proud(?) to say that I no longer have 4th ed memorized.) :wink:

This is as a good a moment to bring up an invention my Tabletop Verdi came up with a while ago but never made because it is possibly game imbalancing according to my SG and from what he told me, a number of others he bounced it off of from the berk list...

It was based on the idea of an item to help the wielder sense vis but developed into a more complex Greater Enchantment intended to seek out and collect vis from a variety of sources (according to the particular designs of the collection.

The premise was to create what he called " The Menagerie" which would be a collection of devices each fashioned after a type of animal or insect or bird etc. Each would be crafted in metal (his area of craftsmanship) and be enchanted with a MuTe(An) enchantment to turn each into living versions of their type. Each type would also of necessity have CrAn enchantment to dictate its motivation to override the natural instincts of that species and direct each to hunt vis of its particular corresponding form: Bird=Au, Fish or Eel=Aquam, etc..

Then each would be enchanted with effects to enhance its hunting, detection, and acquisition functions. I got started on the interlinked series of those with reference to my prototype which I decided would be a viper. I called it, strangely enough, The Vis Viper and began on a faulty or perhaps personally wishful presupposition that it could target magical beasts and collect vis from them by attack and some form of enchanted vampiric effect MuAn(Vi). Now we've all discussed at length here both sides of the "farming for vis" debate and this is one reason the project got put on hold until I retune it and/or limit it a bit and until my Verdi is more magically developed to do some of the more complicated high level enchantments without spending a year or two on the project.

But if anyone is interested in some field notes from my initial foray into the idea feel free to PM me.

It's a great idea, very creative, but it does challenge game balance.

One of the big problems is its very size and complexity, the fact that the li'l critter would take many seasons and much vis to complete, and yet still be quite vulnerable, being only a magical thing. After animating it, and programming it (for lack of a better term), that's a big investment in a vulnerable thing.

Now, to a mage, the potential for loss of such should be a huge deterrent, or at least a serious consideration, and a real possibility. But few SG's would not feel guilty (I said "few", not "no") if they decided the thing got lost or destroyed somehow.

Of course, a clever SG could have it cause more trouble than it's worth, as it savages a wandering magi of the vis in his pack, or decimates a nearby covenant's claimed sources. :wink:

Actually on ArM5 page 114, middle of the first column, it says specifically:

"A single spell grants a single magical sense. To gain several magical senses, you must cast several spells."

So, going off RAW, you can't have one spell provide multiple senses, but it could certainly be house-ruled. I'm not sure that it would really be a game-breaking modification.


IIRC Mr Fergusson made a saga/covenant seed based on vis harvesting items.


It was an underweater covenant that used vis-harvesting pickets, IIRC. It might be unbalancing, since they were basically automatic vis extraction items that collected vis from auras (only Vim vis, though) but it was an extremely cool idea. The adventure/saga was called Hidden Light, IIRC,a nd could be reached through