Muto and Essential nature for Talismans

Hi everyone,
I have been looking into Talismans recently and I have had an interesting idea. Use a ring/bracelet with two gemstones set into it.

What use is a ring/bracelet Talisman, most magi have a staff for a reason? Who would chooses a ring over a longer touch, and bonus for controlling/projecting things?

But looking at the Muto Terram guidelines, what if the ring had an effect to muto it into a staff? Two gems and some gold would muto into a considerable amount of iron. Yes it would be a high level effect, but who cares?

Now, if my Talisman is a ring and I turn it into an 8 foot iron staff, is it still considered part of me? Does still have a range "touch"?

More importantly, is the essence of the two gems there, or can I no-longer use the S&M bonus they give?
If so, would I now have an S&M bonus for an iron staff? But I would need to leave it like that for a season to attune these bonus'.

This opens up the door for a whole load of ideas - you had a "starter" talisman with only 2 components in it. Instead of scrapping it, add muto effects to open up more bonus'. The new bonus still have to be attuned, so every change must be of "constant" duration (sun, 2 uses, env trigger) - but you can do so much more with your Talisman.

My take on this would be that yes you would get the extended reach from transforming your talisman into a staff (or a whip, chain, etc), its still your talisman after all. But it would still have the material AND shape bonuses from being a ring set with a pair of gems. Its essential magic nature hasn't changed. It is still that ring, its just been temporarily transformed.

Given that there is a mystery virtue that lets you do this, i'd say you can't do it without it. Think about it as the limit of essential nature. Its still a ring with 2 gems, regardless of what you have transformed it into since hermetic magic cannot change its true nature.

Interesting point, though, you could maybe enchant it with ring duration spells.

I've just read the part on essential nature - I had mis-understood it. I thought that EN could be temporarily changed by muto magics.

So, a lot of cool effects are out, but is the shape of an object part of it's EN? I think that if I turned my Talisman into a staff, I could still use the shape bonus' for staff. This still has possibilities.

Hah, I turn my staff into a sword (already attuned for max damage)! etc.

No, I really don't think I'd allow this. The point is that your magus has selected a bracelet (or whatnot) as his talisman. He's enchanted it with some cool effect so it can become a key or a staff or a sword or... I don't know, loads of other things. But, in truth, the object is still that same bracelet with the gems and the rather fetching silver finish. That's what it is.

Of course, the current form it happens to inhabit has its own benefits (being able to unlock something, or touch something at range or strike something that doesn't have resistance) but it can't give your magus a bonus as if it really truly essentially was that shape.

In any case, you'd need to attune the talisman over the course of a season to get that bonus so I think the point is moot. The muto effects themselves would be cool and I think that's a really flavoursome talisman but you haven't uncovered a loophole in the rules, I'm afraid. Your bracelet is what it is.

I wasn't looking for a loophole as such. And part of the muto effect definition was that it had to be a constant effect, so you could turn your talisman into a staff for an entire season while you attuned it.

The shape of an object is not really a part of it's Essential Nature, because the shape can be changed mundanely. A blacksmith (or rego magic) could turn a metal staff into a metal sword etc.

So I think that being able to change the shape of the talisman, then attuning that new shape to give a bonus, should still work.

Gemmed Ring to Staff
Muto Terram 29
Base 4
(gemstone to metal), +0 pers, +2 sun, +1 group, +2 intricate) + 1L (2 uses), + 3L (env Trig)
This effect turns the gemstones on the ring into an iron staff 6ft long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The staff will only weigh 20lbs.
Once this effect is activated it will remain in effect until commanded to end.

Are you trying to get a system where you would change your talisman into various objects(shapes), attune them, then use the instilled effect to change its shape based on need...?? So sword here, staff there, ring over there?

Yes, but Essential Nature is only one of the limits of magic.. .. of course it doesn't apply to a blacksmith, or even using Rego magic to alter stuff in a 'mundane' way. Quite a lot of people seem to quote essential nature like it's some law of god or something.. it isn't in fact, it's merely one of the things hermetic magic can't do.. that's why they're called the Limits of Magic :slight_smile:

But yes, for whatever quirky reason, as far as hermetic magic is concerned, you haven't actually changed the ring into a staff.. it's still a ring, and hermetic magic will still treat it as a ring (even though it might not conform to other standards of ringdom).

But yeah.. I'm generally with the others.. you can't go about changing somethings shape for the purposes of items like that, just doesn't work.. doesn't mean a ring that can turn into a staff isn't -useful- mind.. you -could- probably get away with still using it for touch attacks and such.. though.. I'm wary even of that.. .. cause you'll then get the clever mages making super extendo-staffs that can deliver touch range spells at a mile away or something ^^

I think so, yes. It is skirting around the limits of essential nature, no-matter how much you change a silver ring, its nature is still to be silver. However the shape is not so definite.

You could put in a variety of effects to turn your Talsiman into a number of shapes and attune it to them. However the drawback is that it must be in that shape to use that attunement.

I can't use the Staff attunements if it is in the shape of a Sword etc.

So I would invest 2 or 3 effects into it in a season, then spend a few more seasons attuning the new shapes.

It wouldn't be as useful as a staff with an engraving of a sword or something like that, because the bonus' are available all the time. Commanding it to change form, for a useful bonus will take time - perhaps an entire combat round.

So if it is a ring and someone shoots some arrows at you, you won't get the bonus to control things at a distance for your spont defence spell.

Maybe... A metal sword-that-was-staff, is no longer in any way a staff. Arguably its essential nature has been changed. Its the metal that has been rego-ed, not the staff - the metal's essential nature of being metal hasn't changed, but the staff's essential nature of being a staff has. You couldn't, for example, use the perfect mundane form whatzit to give the sword 'perfect staff' bonuses.

True enough and I'd rule that something that was a staff but is now a sword doesn't get to keep the bonus for being a staff. Because it's a sword and has its own bonuses. Magic only changes the current form of an object, not its true form so the true form's nature still comes through as the bonuses.

But it sounds like you've come up with some House Rules you like so feel free. But as it goes against one of the core ideas (limit of Essential Nature, etc) I'd at least make the ability to do what you're suggesting a virtue perhaps taught by some mystery cult or other.

Yes, if you use Rego magic, you can indeed change a sword to a staff and vica versa ... I'm fairly sure smelting down your staff and turning it into a sword would count as breaking it tho ^^

But yes.. it's likely to be a breakthrough and a mystery virtue of some kind

Please note that it is the EN of a living human to be alive, even if this state can be altered by anyone with a knife...

Destroying the staff to make a sword wouldn't give you a sword with the bonuses of a staff, but most likely a mundane sword...

Hmm, so being a staff is still an unchangeable part of its nature, and to change it into something else would be to destroy what it was.

It was a magical staff, it is now a sword with broken magical effects inside it. Even if it is returned to being a staff, the magics have been broken and would need reforging before they could be used again?

Or just that even though it currently looks and feels like a sword, it is really a staff and that it will still have bonuses for being a staff. All of the magics inside it still act like it is a staff.


Changing the staff to sword will not destroy the original nature.
But burning would change it because the damage is irreversible.

My common sense suggests gribble_the_munchkin has right. Nice point to a munchkin. :smiley:

Step back from the mechanics for a minute. When you initially enchanted the staff, you designed the magics around the fact that it was a staff (whether or not you actually used the shape & material bonuses). So, it's an enchanted staff. Not an enchanted sword. Whether or not you could have rego-ed or muto-ed it before enchantment to have other bonuses is moot.

My take: if you magically turn it into a sword such that it is a temporary change, then the effects that rely on it being a staff are at the very least suppressed. But you won't get any bonuses from it being a sword. If the change is permanent (thus, not Muto), well, the item is destroyed - at that point you might consider re-enchanting it as a sword.