My first magical item - thoughts / comments please :D

I just realized that the LABORATORY thread wasn't supposed to contain discussions on items :blush: .. So.. here I go again :smiley:

This is my first take on designing an enchanted item. This is supposed to be my characters "out-of-gauntlet-Masterpiece". I would appreciate input on any flaws in its design
My journeyman verditius has a focus on suppressing magic effects (MF) and his Craft is metalworking - specializing in lab equipment/tools. By using these tongs the wielder can grab an object, creature, person (etc.) and suppress any magical effects used by /or affecting the creature - as long as the wielder or the tongs maintain concentration. The effect is based on the ReViGen Guidelines where a spell can "sustain or suppress a spell cast by another with level less than half (level + 5 magnitudes)". The trigger is straightforward - by grabbing something with the tongs they snap shut, and maintains the lock for as long as the person that used them decides (fades at sun)..

Tongs of Suppression (lesser item)

ReVi 28 Levels
Level 7 (gen effect) +7

  • 1 magnitude Concentration +5
  • 1 magnitude Touch +5
  • 10 pts penetration +5
    Item maintains concentration +5
    x2 uses pr. day +1

This should make the tongs able to penetrate creature might 10 or less, and suppress spells /effects of 15(third magnitude). It will be quite handy in the lab, when handling dangerous magical stuff, and for dealing with pesky supernatural pests like minor faeries etc. What do you think about the idea / stats. Please note that the lab total required will be manageable in my masters lab, with craft and MF.

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions folks!

I think this is a good item. As you say, potentially very useful in the lab. Potentially very useful in the field as well, in my opinion. :slight_smile:

I would think that in order to affect all the spells/effect on an object at once, you'd need Target: Group. The "target" of the ReVi effect is in my opinion the spell, not the object on which the spell has been cast.



EDIT: This isn't correct, as Vitruvius points out below.

May want more uses per day as well i think.
Looks pretty ok and quite good.

I agree with the target: group comment - for it to affect every effect on / cast by creature / item. However, as a lesser item a higher lab total isn't going to be possible for me - and there is really not that many things I could trade for more uses... it requires a lab total of 56 as of now - quite hard for an apprentice.. That makes it impossible for my character to make it with correct target.. no places to take points from. T: Group would add 2 magnitudes wouldn't it? And on top of that more uses...

Just a quick comment in passing... one thing you'll need to do is spend +6 levels on penetration for +12. This is because you need to beat the target's resistance of 10, not match it. And it's always worth just adding a little extra anyway to account for possible auras that might aid the target's resistance.

Thank you all for your opinions!

After reading the rules on VIM and Individual targets my interpretation is that T: individual is ok for this item - (not group as suggested by Andrew Gronosky and myself). On p.157 of the rulebook the description quite clearly states that "The individual target of a Vim spell can refer to either an individual spell, or an individual object or person... If the target is an object or person, the Vim spell affect any suitable magic affecting that person, not just one spell".

However it is a bit unclear to me if T:Group might be neccesary to prevent magical effects cast by the person on others..

The comment about aura bonus and penetration is also a very good point.. I'll be revising it shortly with your comments in mind :smiley:

New take on "Tongs of Suppression":

ReVi(Gen) 33
Level 7 (Effect)
+5 R: Touch (1 magnitude)
+5 D: Concentration(1 magnitude)
+7 = 14 pts penetration
+5 Item maintains concentration
+4 12 uses pr. day

I had to drop my arts in everything else to get it to work.. but hey.. he is supposed to be a specialist. Now it depends on the T: Group issue.. looking forward to more opinions.. I feel that I'm nearly there..

Dont overlook the ways to get bonuses to your lab total.
Develop the spell first, and do it at the highest spell level you can in a single season to give you the biggest AND quickest bonus.
With a total of around 60 that means getting a level 30 spell, meaning you can get a +6 bonus for similar spell to making the item.
ThereΒ΄s also the possibility to try convincing another magi to assist you, or perhaps an experienced apprentice, if you pay them some Vis. This should bring another 3 or better bonus.

Certainly make use of the similar spell bonus, and if you can get the lab help as well, together it should allow you to get at least a minimal score in other arts. Of course, if there is decent access to books later on in most Arts, thats not a problem at all. OTOH, having even just a score of 1 in all non-specialist Arts can be very useful.

Nah, that's EASY.

Bite the bullet, and make it a 70 year item (p 99) - if he can't make something better by then, he ain't tryin'. Lab Total of 56 will give you a lesser item of Level 37. (56-37 = 19, 19x2 = 38, 38>37, done.) (46 if he could stomach a 7 year device!)

You have no comment on Shape/Material - I assume you've downloaded the latest compiled .pdf from the Atlas site? ... yShape.pdf ... yBonus.pdf

DW's suggestion on first learning a similar spell is another good one (altho' more potent for multi-season invested devices). Also, the Covenant supplement has rules for "extra effort" - working overtime and getting as much as +11 to Lab Total (and merely in exchange for some measly Warping Points and extra Aging roll or two with penalty to that roll - a DEAL!) 8)

Beyond that, in Mysteries Revised there are some sweet virtues that can help a verdi with items. (Maybe not an option for Gauntlet, but an option nonetheless.)

If you're going to use that in the lab, more uses/day would be nice. If the mage has a truly nasty dingus to handle (ahem - we're talking about the magic item variety), then just twice a day isn't going to get the job done. Doesn't have to be infinite, but I'd hope for at least once or twice an hour, 12-24x/day (10 hr average day).

Not to mention options to improve the lab, that can give you more bonuses and will be applicable to later projects. The tongs can also be used as part of this process, to add bonuses to your lab.

Again, thank you guys for expertise :smiley:

Here are some of my characters relevant stats:

Re 9
Vi 8
Focus 8
Int 4
Magic Theory 5+2+1 (base + puissant + specialization)= 7
Craft Metalworking 5 + 2 + 1 (base + puissant + specialization)=7

Philosophiae (Verditius runes) 1+2+1(puissant + specialization)= 4 (runes)
Shape / Material (tongs +3 on suppressing / restricting actions of target, not in list but ST approved) = 3

Aura = 6

Master's Lab score (from various covenant general quality + item crafting spec.) = 10

Known, relevant spell 6 magnitude = 6

Wow, lab total of 72 without 70 year item if my calculations are correct..

And maybe some faerie herbs, overtime etc. ... I'm not sure about those consequences, sounds nasty - warping and aging rolls..

btw, what do you think about those three puissant abilities? (MT, Craft, Philosophiae) I'm considering swapping puissant Philosophia for Affinity w/Vim

And just to be certain.. Those "sweet virtues that can help a verdi with items" thats mainly philosophic alchemy or have I missed something? My master is a "Green Cockerel" so those can be accessible in a few years..

As a Verdi, might as well toss in some material - including some magnet (compound item) for +2 on Rego sounds like a winner.

You can get +1 by waking up early and not take any penalty except being tired late in the day.

Actually, the GC's are not the pure Verdi's best friend. They chase the Greater Elixir, a potion of eternal life, and so are more attractive for any mage with an eye to his far future. But they take the long path to some of the bonuses that Item Enchanters could use.

Hermetic Alchemy, Planetary Magic and Philosophic Alchemy are great additions to any enchanter's repertoire - Unaging and Elixirs, not so much. (Vulgar Alchemy is pro'ly not worth from the perspective of time investment, but it's good for color and IC prestige.)

IC, you can't have everything (tho' a +10 lab is a nice start!), but the GC's don't get you everywhere you want to go, and get you part way there only slowly.

Nice feedback on material / shape bonuses - moreover I have overlooked the help I can get from forge companions - I guess a bonus of +3 should be quite realistic (3 w/craft 5 or more).

So, with a compound magnet included that leaves me with a lab total of about 77. Total effect level in a lesser item should then be 38 for everlasting or 55 for 70 year (77-51 = 26x2=52>51 done). What to do, what to do? Will a 70 year item be frowned upon in Verditius? Or is it equally accepted as a gauntlet item?

The nice lab (+10) is not something my character will start with, It is his "Skilled Parens" wunderlab which he spent time in during his pre-gauntlet years..

Get hold of Covenants, and look at the chapter on Laboratories. Especially toward the end, on "magic items in the lab" - a few seasons dedicated to getting bigger, and you could have half that +10 without too much work.

70 vs. eternal - Not sure that's specifically addressed anywhere. It has to be less, but "how much less?" is up to the SG/Troupe. A fair place to start might be to have the "impressiveness" of the item be based on the Lab Total, not the final effect, and then modified for the finished product. So, for example, a Lab total of 60 can produce either a Level 30 eternal effect or a Level 40 70-year effect, and unless the Level 40 is significantly better, the level 30 would be viewed as the standard. (Otherwise, 1-year effects would be the standard, that same LT of 60 creating a Level 54 effect.) in any example of an item that wins a competition, I don't remember any commenting on an "effect expiration".

With the +1 bonus from Early Riser lab routine my final lab total is now 78. With good help from you guys this is the two alternatives I've come up with:

  1. Tongs of Suppression (lesser item, 70 year duration)

ReViGen (52)
Effect 17 (will suppress 17+25/2 = 21 = fourth magnitude effect or lower)
R: Touch 5
D: Concentration 5
Item maintains concentration 5
50 uses / day 6
Penetration 28 = 14

2)Tongs of Suppression (lesser item, permanent duration)

ReViGen (39)
Effect 7 (will suppress 7+25/2 = 16 = third magnitude effect or lower)
R: Touch 5
D: Concentration 5
Item maintains concentration 5
50 uses / day = 6
Penetration 22 = 11pts

Both items will be extremely handy - and the many uses/day means that they can be used as often as needed in the lab. Only decision left is which one should I choose? I'll probably leave it to my storyguide :smiley:

About another thing.. I'm not quite sure I understood Cuchulainshound arguments about my minor virtues vs affinity w/arts.
Philosophiae = verditius runes, and with Elder Runes Philosophiae x Magic Theory = possible amount of vis spent in a season.

What I wanted with my character was to be quite good at core Verditius enchanting out of gauntlet - and that fits well with a knack for runes. However (when making this item) he became more of a specialist and thus the affinity w/Vim or Rego could fit as well..

To be painfully honest, now that I re-read it, I'm not sure I understand it either. :confused:

An affininity is a long-term investment, best for specialists (who want high numbers early, beyond the suggested age limits), or for older characters. Puissant tends to be the way to go for most characters. Puissant + Affinity is doubly focused, but with diminishing returns on the second buy - not as good as the first, either way.

To be painfully honest, now that I re-read it, I'm not sure I understand it either. :confused:

I think he was responding to a comments from an earlier post, when he suggested virtues from the Mysteries and you answered that your master was a Green Cocquerel. As such, you would have access to Hermetic and Philosophical Alchemy and the Lesser and Greater Elixir, and he was pointing out that while the Alchemy ones were good for a Verditius (Philosophical in particular is very sweet, since you spend so much time in your lab anyway), but the Elixir bring nothing to your crafting.

He was clearly not responding to your question about swapping Puissant Philosophiae for Affinity for Vim :slight_smile:

Regarding the affinity vs puissant debate, for Arts Puissant is better as long as your Art is below 16 (13+3), affinity is better above that. For abilities Puissant is better below 10 (8+2), affinity above that. Incidentally, if you don't plan to take your Art above 17, an xp-giving virtue (Educated, Skilled Parens,...) is better anyway (but far less flavorful). If you are planning to do it, even if it is post-Gauntlet, then Puissant or Affinity make sense.

Personally, I was a bit surprised to see you taking Puissant in an ability in which you only invested 5 xp. It makes sense if you plan to raise it afterwards, but unless you are aiming for 7 (as in 5+2) eventually, you would be better off taking Skilled Parens or even Educated for extra xp. Of course, that would allow you to open truly enormous magical items, with capacities of 50 pawns or even above, so if you are looking for that eventually it's very good. Swapping it for an affinity with Rego or Vim does make sense if you are making a specialist, since you are far more likely to raise the Arts very high than Philosophiae.

Wow, thanks for that analysis - I know the puissant vs affinity debate is ancient, but I've never really broken it down like that. I was actually planning on raising philosophiae, but with Educated I can give it score 4 and leave it at that (MT is his main area w/affinity + puissant). The way I see it a Verditius has just too many abilities to raise - I might just as well focus on raising cult lore, magic theory, craft + arts (in his early years).. On top of those abilities you have the mystery initiations and maybe cult lore for a different mystery cult (and maybe even artes liberales(astronomy) for planetary magic..)..

On a purely mechanical level, here's how it works...

During CharGen, you can take several Virtues that add 50 xp. (Skilled Parens adds 60, plus 30 pts of starting spell levels, so it clearly superior to those - and Guild Trained is the rough equiv of that. But we'll use 50 xp as our yardstick.)

A Puissant Ability doesn't "save" 50 xp until you want to reach Level 6 - buying Level 6 is 105 pts, or with Puissant you buy Level 4+2 (50 pts) and save 55 pts.

Affinity with Ability doesn't "save" 50 xp until you want to reach Level 8 - Level 7 would be 140 xp, and with Affinity that only costs 93 xp (47 less, 93 + 93/2 = 140). (However, Affinity is the only way a starting character can legally exceed the "Maximum Abilities vs. Age" - see page AM5 31.)

Affinity saves more xp than Puissant once the Ability goes to 10 or more, otherwise, Puissant saves more.

(Arts work similarly, with 50+ xp saved being reached at 18 for both Puissant and Affinity, and Affinity worth more after Art = 16 (when they are equal, both "saving" 45 xp).

Now, taking one those virtues at less than the mathematical "cutpoint" isn't necessarily a bad thing, because this math also has to be balanced against later character growth in game. Like Secondary Insight or Learn From Mistakes, you're also planning for the future. So make that plan, and take it into consideration.

And outside of pure game mechanics (a place where some players rarely seem to go, ahem), there are also considerations of Character Concept - for instance, a character that is a genius at something that they simply haven't developed yet, etc etc.

(There are some other few considerations for Teachers - Puissant doesn't help you Teach or Write about an Ability/Art - it's a "virtual" bonus in that sense. Affinity is an XP multiplier - the score is your actual score, no qualifiers.)

So - bottom line, most players are going to take Puissant if they want to have an Ability of 5-6 or more, or an Affinity if they either want to exceed the Age limits, or are planning for the future. The math is there only if you/'re worried about "wasting" points - but that has to be balanced against the character you want. :wink:

(And, no, I didn't run these numbers just for this - I have a cheatsheet tucked into the back of the book to make my life easier, with these and some other predictably desirable calculations, for both CharGen, Lab and Play, like how Lab Total works over multiple seasons to a desired target effect, and how halflifes of Magical effects fade for detections, etc. etc. Do the math once, why do it again?) 8)