Making the Berserker Armor

I'm trying to figure out a good way to represent the Berserker Armor from the manga Berserk as an enchanted item or Magic Thing or something - preferably something a Verditius character could make, but I'll take what I can get.

The easiest aspects of the armor to enchant are its nigh-impenetrability (Muto Terram can increase the Soak bonus per HoH:S, enchanting it with a Touch range effect increasing the wielder's own flesh-based Soak via MuCo would be easy enough, and making it an Item of Quality would... technically cause it to boost Defense rolls by RAW even though boosting Soak would be more thematically suited to armor) and the fact that its wearer can ignore the effect of injury and fatigue while wearing it (that's just a ReCo guideline, although I do sorta wish there was a way to invoke the really awesome/horrifying aspect of the source material where it achieves that in part by piercing the wielder's flesh with rods to pin broken bones back in place).

But there are two aspects of the armor that are much harder for me to figure out, one of which can hopefully be resolved with some clever use of guidelines, the latter is more esoteric and may be fully impossible or fall under a Mystery sort of deal.

First, the way the Berserker Armor draws power from rage, and causes its wielder to give into it, seems hard to represent mechanically. Since the intended wielder already has the Fury and Wrathful Flaws, I don't have to worry about emplacing the anger. But on the flip side, he's already got Giant's Blood and Great Characteristic enough times to have +6 in Strength and Stamina and +5 in Dexterity and Quickness (he's a Mythic Companion, he had a lot of Virtue Points), so the stat-raising CrCo guidelines are already at their limit. This makes me somewhat inclined to look at other options - either granting unnatural abilities through MuCo (I guess you could give the appearance of someone gaining massive leg strength by letting him jump like a frog with an Animal requisite?) or, perhaps, through an InMe-linked ReTe effect that causes the armor itself to add some propulsive force of its own to the wearer's actions.

If I'm pushing bounds here, I could even imagine a MuMe or CrMe(Vi?) effect that awakens the rage within the character's mind as a sentient force/spirit, and gives more esoteric bonuses that way while also justifying why a magus would invent an effect with a downside, given that otherwise there's really no way I can think of to make the armor benefit from its wearer losing control. (There's still not really a way to justify the source material having the strain of the armor wear down on the user the more brutalized they get while wearing it, that I'm aware of, but I may just have to live with that.) That could, among other things, maybe give the benefit of the aptly-named Berserk Virtue, which actually helps a lot since the character lacks it and the armor in the source material does have the "you try to kill your friends if no enemies are left unless the rage is suppressed" element that the Virtue shares.

The second effect is one that only comes up if the character suffers fatal injuries while wearing the armor, in which case the armor curses them with undeath and a compulsion to keep fighting the sort of foe that killed them forever. (The Skull Knight, in canon, had every drop of his blood spilled while being sacrificed to what would in Ars essentially be Princes of Hell, so he's cursed to spend eternity fighting demons in general and trying to kill the Princes in specific.) Obviously Hermetic magic can do basic revenant creation, but I don't think that especially suits what's happening here. As much as possible, I want this to have the same vibe as how some Bjornaer who die or go into Final Twilight become Magic Animals based on their Heartbeasts.

So, some alternatives... if one of the armor effects does create a rage spirit within the character, then if the magus enchanting the armor had the Hermetic Empowerment Virtue, maybe it could... I dunno, drain the Might of the spirit to perform a CrCo(Mu)(Vi) ritual designed as an equivalent of the CrAn(Vi) guideline for making Magic animals, but instead to turn the corpse into a Magic Human? Or... yeah, I dunno, this one's hard.

What are you guys' thoughts?

one thing about classic berserker stories was their ability to simply ignore wounds- a sun duration CrCo to heal any wound they take (linked with an InCo to tell when they are wounded) until sundown could make them very formidable.

There are a lot of options for creating interesting combat enchantments. My suggestion here, however, has less to do with the specifics, and more generally the optics of converting a magical item into ars magicka from another source. It's generally a bad idea to look at how to replicate something from another rpg, comics, etc. The ars magicka system is robust and has all sorts of possibilities, but hermetic theory works in a specific way, and if you're looking to replicate the rationale and paradigm behind another item... you're going to spend a lot of energy on a conversion that doesn't make sense.

Ars Magicka can make a berserker armor. Perhaps the piercing the flesh stuff is an experimental flaw. Can you transform the user's rage into a physical effect? Sure. You could make a constant intellego mentem effect that acts as a linked trigger for another effect that triggers only on a berserk character. You could use MuMe base 25 with +1 part with an ignem requisite to transform the user's rage into flames. Would either of those enchantment make sense to enchant? The first option will possibly warp the user, require an additional power and therefore lab season, and more vis than a power that is triggered normally. The second power would require a lot higher lab total than a regular creo ignem effect, and again, more vis and possibly more time if the lab total isn't double the effect level, and again plausibly depend on an intellego mentem linked trigger which have the problems I already discussed. And it wouod warp the wearer due to a high magnitude effect everytime he triggers the flame, for the benefit of creating flames fromsown rage that aren't necessarily more damaging than a regular creo ignem effect with less penetration for a given lab total.

Can a Verditius do this? Absolutely. Why should he though, unless he's striving to be known to craft weird and inefficient enchantments with side effects that warp and wound the wearer?

So my advice, rather than start this line of thinking with "this armor's manga works weirdly, how do I bring it into my game?" is to restart with the idea "a verditius wants to craft an armor for a berserker. what kind of effect does he enchant into that armor?" You may find the end result makes more sense, although it may not lineup with the original inspiration anymore.

On the other claw, the Verditious curse binding mystery could certainly work towards inducing berserker type behavior...

Very true. The curse binding may a good starting point for ideas.

I know you're right from an in-universe logic perspective. I guess I just think Ars magic is too... I dunno, reliable? Uncostly? A major magic item is like a character to me - the Virtues are what make the character powerful and worth using, but the Flaws are what make them interesting. And I mean, not every item needs to be interesting because not every item is all that important, but if I'm gonna make something important, I want it to be interesting.

Maybe I'll just push my limits with experimentation and see what happens.

From the perspective of a major magical item that has flaws, you might also want to consider the Item Attunement mystery.

If you want an item with major flaws you should consider the possibility that it does not exist due to hermetic power but infernal.

I was planning to make it an Attuned Item just to have sufficient space on the thing for all the desired effects.

Actually, maybe the best way to get the flawed and not-easily-done-Hermetically effects would be to start with a Magic Thing. A largely sentient cursed armor that has powerful effects but doesn't particularly care for its wearer's wellbeing, and then can be built upon by a magus who acquired it, since the Magic Thing descriptor says they're enchantable...

A Magic Thing would make a lot of sense for an armor that uses a wearer to achieve something, even at the price of its life.