limitations of a rope Talisman

Fishy, and others from Parva Lignem avert thine eyes.

Say I give an NPC mage a Talisman that is effectively a long rope (or chain), and has been enchanted to move under the mage's mental command.

A Talisman extends the mage's Touch range. This one is at least 10 paces long.
How can this be abused? Nerfed? Just in case my players come up with ideas I didn't prepare for.
Surely he couldn't trace out a Circle 10 paces in radius, for Circle Target/Duration spells?

I think he could do so.

That is, provided your troupe agrees to understand ArM5 p.112 Sun/Ring

... and the magus must physically trace out the ring. The magus may not move more quickly than ten paces per round (five feet per second) while doing this.

in a reasonable way. Namely, that it addresses the speed of the tracing proper of the ring - not just the speed of the magus' feet.


Iirc the games from folktales podcast episode from very early in the run had some ideas for a plumb line talisman and what you could do with it. Think the episode was called angels with leaden wings. Might have some inspiration for you?


Well, a 10m (roughly 10 paces) long rope (perimeter of a circle), will make a circle 3.2 m in diameter (perimeter = pi x diameter). However, it will require a high Finesse roll or the use of a spell similar to Scribe the Perfect Circle (p 96, the Mysteries) for the rope/chain to make such circle.

If you intend to use the talisman to draw a circle 10 meter in radius, same challenge: a ReTe to move the talisman and a high Finesse roll for a perfect drawing.

Otherwise, the Talisman can deliver touch-based spell - but it means that the mage must reinvent all voice and sight range spells - it takes time, but of course, Penetration score will be higher.

To further extend your touch range, you can enchant the rope to shorten / lengthen at your mental command (I did a slight variation of this with a whip previously for an Animal conjuror). That character also put an enchantment into the talisman to allow it to read her surface thoughts, then linked triggers to that enchantment to make multitasking easier.


Don't all Voice range spells that are cast silently become Touch range spells?

I hadn't actually considered the above until now. This thread is working.

Don't all Voice range spells that are cast silently become Touch range spells?

Yes, but the level of the spell remains unchanged, thus the Penetration is lower than the Touch variant. If the mage is not concerned about Penetration, sure no need to reinvent spell.

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Well, the obvious nerf is that rope is really easy to damage, though a MuHe(Te) can fix this, PeHe spells are still quite low level, so talisman destroying spells will have a lot of Penetration relative to other attacks coming the way of your magus. And rope destroying spells are VERY useful overall, doubly so for any nautically inclined magus. OTOH, you could make your rope out of something other than plant fiber - spider silk or some kind of human or animal hair can cause confusion and spells to destroy these things are less common.

For abuse, turning the rope invisible is fun. Rope won't cast much of a shadow and so is very, very hard to target with spells, while using a spell to see through your own illusions is pretty easy. Making part of the rope sticky can multiply its binding effectiveness and make it useful for climbing or swinging Batman style.

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I think you don't push the concept far enough, PeIm can also destroy haptic species (touch) and sounds. So it is possible to not only make it invisible, but also "untouchable" and silent. So people won't feel it when it touches them to deliver a Touch-based spell...
Silent, if it is a chain, you won't hear a rattling sound on the floor.


Being a Talisman, it is a permanent AC. So accidentally dropping it and then finding the invisble rope shouldn't be too difficult.

Now I have to dig up the rules on how difficult it will be for Second Sight to see it. Can never recall the rules for SS Penetration. I think it might be in HMRE.

Since the magus is based in the Levant, I was thinking a silken cord or ribbon would be the "rope". But now I am wondering about a rope of woven snake skins.

I find ten paces circumference a lot more interesting. The magus does not move at all, because he touches the entire ring at once. The rule only limits the rate of moment. It says nothing about the speed of actually tracing the ring.

(And if ten pace circumference or slightly less than 5' radius is too small to matter, please imagine a longer rope.)

That's one interpretation that is stretching the base rule.
The rule says about permanent Circle, that he still "must trace the whole circumference" (quoting the rule), with the same speed limit (ten paces/round).
Having a talisman, invisible, silent chain forming a circle and requiring from the magus to only touch it to cast a Circle/Ring spell would be broken. It would remove the Concentration check, a talisman with a growing enchantment could circle large area and if the mage is invisible and silent, nobody would see him casting a spell... That would make sweat a ST.
But for an Arch-villain and a generous ST that grants him this ability by handwaving a Major Breakthrough (or possibly an Hermetic one), that would make the PC sweat.

I would argue that the ring has to be visible to support ring/circle, so while the magus could be invisible, the rope would not.

Previously, I have only exploited this as a charged item, so while powerful, the power is limited to prepared spells and cannot be made on the spot. (My rusticanus invested a season to learn ropemaking.)

Even as a talisman, there are limitations. You have to lay the rope out and close the ends. You can use a Rego enchantment to do that, but then we invest serious time in greater enchantments which are supposed to be powerful and push limits, at the expense of our great achievements since you can only have one talisman.

I agree with you, and I would not allow in my game that a T:Circle is simply cast by touching because it is made with a talisman.
The initial question was if it could abused. There is was is reasonably feasible (invisibility, silence, untouchable), and then there is was is the beyond core rule, but potentially interesting for a big bad Villain.