Magic Items and AotH

Do magic items need to penetrate the Aegis to function inside a covenant? This randomly came to me while prepping for next game today and I was surprised to find I didn't know the answer.

The most debated and house ruled topic on the forum, the Aegis. It's very open to interpretation.

Certain interpretations say items must penetrate, others say items don't as they are not casting a spell.

I hate the idea of a expendable grog wandering in to a covenant with some easy to make magic item with group killer spells casually killing every support person in the covenant, so if I'm being a SG, I make the Aegis really nerf items.

One can argue an item does cast a spell, and it's casting total is the spell level + the penetration, so if after the Aegis reduction kicks in, if the casting total is under zero, the spell fails (an item can't expend stamina, thus no -10 option).

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Items need to penetrate within an Aegis, unless they were created in the Aegis (but it hasn't been renewed since then), or if the owner participated in the casting of the Aegis.

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The only reference to items in canon description of aegis is this.

Effects from enchanted devices are resisted by the Aegis unless the item was within the Aegis at the time of casting, or was created within the Aegis by someone who was part of the ritual or in possession of a token.

So the exceptions are clear. The item had to be within the Aegis at the beginning (i.e. the beginning of the Aegis or the beginning of the item, whichever came last). I cannot see where @Red-Shadow-Claws gets the idea that the owner of the item matters. Nowhere in the rules can I find any basis for that. Quite the contrary, the item has its own penetration.

What is not clear is the meaning of resisted. Two resistive mechanisms apply to effects from other sources, described in more detail. If the effect originates outside, the Aegis works like Magic Resistance. If the effect originates inside, the Aegis penalises penetration, which is only relevant if the target of the spell has an MR of its own. This is made explicit for magi and creatures, but not for items.

There is no basis in the rules to treat items differently from magi and creatures, i.e. not let them freely affect targets without MR once inside the Aegis. Yet @Fishy has a point in that this makes items immensely powerful. Magi and creatures who are able to enter take a huge risk by entering. An item can be thrown inside. Imagine charged item arrows shot into the Aegis.

The story of Tres ex Miscellanea [HoH:S:130] who sacked a covenant using a hundred men armed with enchanted weapons, presumably charged items, is interesting. Is it possible that these items were strong enough to penetrate the Aegis as MR? Or does it imply that there is none once the item is inside?

To conclude, it is your choice. To me the rules are clear enough that ruling MR is a house rule, rather than a house interpretation as @Fishy argues, but that hardly matters. What works in your story?

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An item crafted within the Aegis will not suffer penalties until the Aegis is renewed.
An item brought into the Aegis, whose owner participates in the Aegis will not suffer penalties.

Correct, but the crafter must have participated in the casting of the Aegis or have a valid invitation token.
Also, if the item is kept inside the Aegis when it is renewed there will be no penalties.

Not correct. Who the owner is does not matter.
An item brought into the Aegis, which was not crafted inside the Aegis and was not located inside the Aegis when the Aegis was cast, will suffer penalties.

The description of AotH seems to imply it has a different effect on enchanted devices, than a foreign aura.

No one is saying that enchanted device won't work on the alter of St Peter's cathedral in Rome, during High Mass on Easter Sunday, are they?
Even though the aura penalties to standard Hermetic casting are horrendous.

It already has that if the Aegis gives MR against item effects originating from the outside. The text does not imply that the Aegis affects items differently from magi.