More 3d Ed Questions (talisman/foci/invested items)

I am more impressed with Ars Magica conceptually the more I poke around, and I am also more frustrated. Third Ed certainly doesn't deserve any awards for well organized, or clarity of writing. Apologies ahead of time for using old D&D spell references, I am not up to speed on the local grimoire yet.

Because I am joining a game thats been running for nearly 10 years real time I've been granted an item with 20 spell effect points invested into it, or 2 15 point effects (as well as extra arts/spells), so now I am considering a focus vs a talisman vs a bunch of invested device vs a bunch of lesser items). The more I look at the item creation rules the more I think that is either pretty generous, or not enough information to make something... Though as I read the item rules very carefully I see that spell foci are material components (sometimes optional, and sometimes reusable) that are spell specific.
It looks like attunements come from the form and material table... so an oak staff would get both the bonuses for being a staff and being made of oak if both attunements had been made?
So a talisman get you form and effect bonus via attunement, but is a, uh... material link to the creator and user?... requires a significant amount of enchanting effort (time and vis).
A spell foci gets you bonus(es) to cast a specific spell without any actual enchanting happening
An invested time could be a spell focus, and is a talisman that is capable of casting a spell on its own (ie wand of healing+ the potential of more spell effects).
...and finally lesser items could be spell foci, cannot be a talisman, do not provide a material link, and do produce a single magical effect (disposable(?) wand of magic missile)

How did I do?

Usually optional (unless you play a Verditius, or have some flaw.
Spells often refer to them, but this is generally just flavour.
Foci er generally re-usable.

Yes. (Or possibly, some troupe read it as each bonus being a seperate attunement, ie. destroy something at a distance being distinct from control something at a distance, despite both being staff-bonuses. I don't remember if the 3rd edition had an official stance

Yes. And yes, it is an Arcane Connection.
It also allows you to invest effects into it.

Yes. If the spell requires a sprig of holly, any old sprig of holly will do,

No. A talisman is a special case of invested items. All Talismans are invested items (or atleast prepared to be), while not all invested items are talismans. You may have no more than one (1) talisman at any one time.


Let's stay in the D&D jargon If I can hit it reasonably.

Potions are potions. Only limited surprises there. Potion of Invisibility is potion of Invisibility.

No "wands" in 3rd edition, as in the "N charges then throw it away" sense of things.

Lesser Enchanted Items are things like "Ring of Invisibility" - they can have 1 magical effect, no more.
They last until you (or someone else) destroy the item.
Most D&D items could be made in this way (if you lab total was high enough, and the effect was possible/made sense at all).

Invested Items generally fall into one or both of 2 categories:

  1. Items with high level effects (too high for the creator to have enchanted the item in 1 season)
  2. Items with multiple effects. Best D&D example I can think of: Rod of Lordly Might

Several Persons can contribute to the same Invested Item - if someone opened a staff made of gold set with a diamond the size of a baby's head, and then only put 20 levels of effects into it, some other magus could put several more effects into the thing.

A Talisman is basically an invested item, tied to your magical self (your Gift, perhaps your soul?).
Again, it is an invested item with further potential.
You can have no more than one Talisman at any one time.

Items cannot (per p. 241 of ArM3) replicate rituals.

Also please note that permanent healing requires Vis, see p. 244 of ArM3 for using items and Vis together.