Magic Tools in the Laboratory

Hi all,
I am using the laboratory rules from Covenants.
I am thinking of making a magic item which would create various lab tools with duration sun. That way I would always be using fresh tools each day in the lab.
I am hoping to emulate the flawless tools virtue, but without the upkeep cost.
Apart from the tools disappearing at sunset, can anyone see any flaws with the idea?
Would the tools (being magical) have any undue influences on the projects?

The general stats I am aiming for are -1 Upkeep, +2 Items. I am not sure if there should be a point of warping or not...

Each (type of) tool being made would need to be a specific effect, otherwise there would need to be a Finesse roll to determine the quality of the tools -- each time one is created. That would make it quite difficult to have it create "flawless" tools, which are assumedly of high quality. That may raise the effect to a much higher one that you are able to enchant, and with many more effects than you are willing to enchant into an item. The tools used in a lab are numerous and diverse, so I doubt a single effect can create all of them at a sufficient quality to be considered flawless.

You mention the problem of the tools only lasting until the next sunset/sunrise. This can be quite problematic for tools -- pots and containers would disappear, so any mixture that needs to simmer for longer couldn't use them. Burners would blink out, preventing temperatures from being even. Pincers would release whatever they are holding. Etc. etc. You'd be better off with D:Moon.

As stated on p.121 and onward, effects from magical items used in the lab do not cause Warping. Spells do.

Thats an interesting point, but I was thinking of tools, rather than equipment.

Specifically for making items (my verditius is a goldmsith), I was thinking that all the chisels, hammers, files, pincers etc could be made daily. The complexity isn't a problem as the "Laboratory of Bonisagus" Spell on page 122 makes a lot of different things using a +5 complexity modifier.

I had seen the bit about magic items not adding to the warping score, but as the magic is making tools that interract with the project I wasn't sure some people might rule it warps...

As pointed out its cannon that you can use one magical effect to create all the items in a lab. I don't see any reason it must cause warping but similar effects like limitless ingredients do if I'm not mis-remembering something. Ask your troupe.

Oh and no need for finesse rolls IMO, you actually need to botch to get flawed tools instead of just ugly ones. Labwork doesn't require stress dies unless you are doing something terribly wrong. Its why you can cast spells to help your lab work safely.

I wouldn't require Finesse rolls for normal tools, but he is trying to get Flawless tools, not regular ones. That, to me, indicates that the tools must be of higher quality than normal -- thus a necessary increase in complexity for the effect.

Just remember that the +5 complexity is in magnitudes, not levels. The spell also has a Vim requisite and is a ritual. Your storyguide might wish to impose the Vim requisite, or not.

Still, even without the requisite the effect will be relatively high level. Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun = level 20 for creating just 1 tools at a time, plus a variable (I'd suggest +1 for the quality of the tools and +1 for the flexibility of creating many different tools). So level 30 or thereabout. To that you'll need to add 10 levels to the enchantment for Unlimited uses. So a level 40 enchantment.

If the item creates a whole set of tools, then you'll need to move to T:Group (+2 mag) and probably increase the size of the group (+1 mag). But you'll save some levels on the number of uses per day (only 2 uses/day needed, so +1 level). But this might also require a boost in the complexity for creating a group of different tools at the same time (I'd say +1 complexity). That would give you a level 51 enchantment.

Just my take on this...

As a cannon example, I don't recall Laboratory of Bonisagus requiring any finesse rolls.

It is, however, a ritual spell with a +5 magnitude because of the complexity. To me, that complexity modifier is in part due to the fact that a Finesse roll is not required.

I agree with most of the comments here about how to go about designing such an effect. This is what I have so far.

Rack of Tools (+1 General Quality, -1 Upkeep, +2 Items)
Create the Tools
CrTe 60
R:Touch, D:Sun, T:Group

Each morning or evening the rack will fill with mundane tools of a very high quality

Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group; +1 Size, +5 complexity.

If I need the Vim requisite I will also up the uses per day to get level 66, but 61 is not worth the extra pawn.

Or I could do it as Conc, and item maintains conc?

Given tools in the period, it would probably have an herbem requisit

Any worked/fabricated item requires a Finesse roll at +3 difficulty. Creating a piece of wood (a log for a fire), no Finesse. Creating a finished, shaved, sanded, worked, carved piece of wood definitely does IMO.


The added Complexity can override this as was there was no mention of it in Bonisagus lab spell. The same could be applied here with extra levels added to represent this.

You're thinking of Rego Craft Magic. That requires a finesse roll, but it starts from Raw materials and leaves a real permanent item.

Creo items require a finesse roll, but always are functional so long as you don't botch.

Right, but the Finnesse roll is basically the same, and again it's only for worked items. You wouldn't need a Finesse roll for a horse (The Wizard's Mount) but you would for Silvery Scales of the Knight. Both are Creo spells.

They're totally different. No matter how badly you fail a roll to create armour you will get armour with a Creo roll, and it will be functional short of botching at least. Nor is there any "+3 difficulty" requirement. If you cast the mystic tower spell even if you get a -2 on the finesse roll you will still have a fully functional tower. An ugly tower, but a tower. And one with exceedingly sturdy construction on top of that! If you get a -2 on a rego craft magic roll to make a tower you will just have a pile of rocks.

Yeah, it technically requires a finesse roll but it doesn't really matter if it gets failed.

If you're trying to get some kind of superlative result by using the tools I'd have to say it does matter. But you're right, I just re-read the Creo description in the main book and a failed roll still provides a functional object, a botched roll does not.

But, and don't bother arguing with me on it, I'd never accept that a failed Finesse roll on a Creo spell could give results like Superior tools, which is what this is about. Workable tools, maybe, but the actual Virtue of Sueprior Tools, no, never. To do that you might as well get rid of the skill of Finesse for this type of spell altogether, and I wouldn't say that should be done. I can accept that the extra levels of difficult put into the spell allow for it and possibly skip the Finesse roll, but there's at least acknowledgement of the difficulty.

In another campaign I ran, all Creo Spells, including The Lab of Bonisagus and The Wizard's tower still required the Finesse roll, and poor rolls led to poor results. Makes it important not to neglect that valuable skill.

Personally I think it's fine to invent a Creo spell or effect that creates a flawless tool. After all, you're pulling from the realm of forms.

I'd say +3 magnitudes gets you a flawless tool, and another +2 lets you do a group of different tools at once - so +5 magnitudes. Sun duration is probably acceptable, but you'd want unlimited uses. Requisites for additional materials I'd class as free requisites, so no extra magnitude but you still need to account for the art. That said, you could create a set of jewelers tools without requisites.

So at the end of the day you end up with:

CrTe 60 (base 5, +1 touch, +2 sun, +2 group, +1 size, +5 complexity) : once/day, so no night-time lab work!

Honestly, if someone is prepared to invest in a 12th magnitude effect to improve their lab, I think they've probably earned it. A level 60 effect isn't a casual project in any games except very high-power ones. You're looking at a lab total of 90 to do the project in 3 seasons (1 to open, 2 to invest), or a lab total of 120 to do it as a lesser enchanted device. Even with a magical focus this is not a junior-magus project. It's a significant project for a magus 40-50 years out of Gauntlet.

Ultimately it's up to the storyguide of the saga. But personally I am not a fan of limiting effects like this for some attempt to 'preserve balance' - this is a game about wizards doing epic projects. This is an epic project, and once created such an item may well become the envy of other magi. As a target for a Verditius rival to try and steal or sabotage it sounds ideal.

I'd rather have the player create the item, enjoy the benefit then have it generate some stories than come up with mechanical excuses as to why it might not work. Especially since there's already a canon example.

And since flawless tools are supposed to be tools created beyond what mundane craftsmanship could achieve, how would you otherwise allow flawless tools in your game if not by magic?

For what it's worth, all Creo spells do require a Finesse roll. In this case, I'd say a simple roll and EF of 6 for this particular thing (lab tools created by a magus) is fine. With a score of 2 or 3, and an Int of 2 or 3, you have 4-6 + die roll.

As to the whole warping thing, warping for labs works differently than warping for Hermetic Magi. I have some trouble with something that a magus would do via a spell causing a lab warping score, while the same thing done with an enchantment doesn't.

The way I can justify it (although whether or not it should be justified is an open question) is that enchantments are 100% perfectly reliable.

Spellcasting isn't.

Those with Flawless Magic (or Mercurian) and a few levels of spell mastery, Cautious Sorcerer and perhaps a strong Golden Cord might disagree...

That's basically it. You aren't perfect. On a really off day a muto spell that gives you extra toughness might make you a dragon forever. I want to do that now. Next time someone botches a muto spell: Permanent Dragon form.

Anyway in a lab you might not accidentally transform yourself into a dragon, but its enough to mess up a lab result a little. Although in all honesty a high warping score is actually really useful if you are trying to "optimize" a spell. Nothing like forcing a roll on the two tables that can get otherwise impossible results.

What's basically it? That imperfect magi can create items that can operate perfectly, dare I say flawlessly? Is it because he invests so much time and vis into the item created?