Our gaming group is brand new to Ars Magica, and about to embark on a campaign. So far, we're enjoying researching our setting and figuring out what sort of Covenant to play. It's been very handy rummaging through the forums, so thanks for all your good brains.
More specifically, I'm trying to get my head around Enchanted Items (I'm reckoning on a tinkering Verditius cooper-cum-boatbuilder, but the following thoughts are more general).
1. Effect Modifications - Concentration
This is listed as being +5 levels, rather than +1 magnitude. I assume this is deliberate, though it does make some lower base level items harder to make.
2. Triggering conditions
Can the conditions which trigger an item be a physical condition, but not necessarily caused by the item's wielder? ArM5, p. 98 - "By default, the trigger action must be performed by someone holding the item, although intention does not matter". It doesn't state whether there's a cost to vary from this default, so I assume that it's a question of simply defining it. A magical floor could sense being stepped on without recourse to additional powers, yes?
eg. - a wooden shield which uses a PeTe effect to shatter metal weapons - the trigger is a metal weapon touching the shield (regardless of whether it's in combat or just poor storage...).
eg. - an ornate iron ball which, when picked up in one hand uses a ReCo (effects one body part) effect to make the hand firmly grip the item for moon duration. There's no intention here, but definite holding. An amusing minor trap, especially if there's a pair.
eg. - a window frame with a ReIm effect that hugely amplifies any sound made within a room and broadcasts it to the outside world, regardless of whether those inside the room were aware of the enchantment.
3. What's a suitable base effect level for the transportation of water?
Would the CrAq create (various flow rates of) spring make a suitable comparison? That seems to make more sense than eg. ReCo guidelines, certainly in terms of the actual utility of such an effect.
eg. - Without crossing intervening space: A barrel which, when placed near a water course, fills with water from that course, and will continue to top itself up. (This is distinct from a CrAq effect, to avoid the Limit of Creation)*.
eg. - Crossing intervening space: A length of rope which, when snaked between a body of water and a container/pit/moat allows the rapid flow of water into said container/pit/moat, against the natural downward flow of water (sort of a magical siphon - heh.. I'm sure there are handier ways to spend a season, but...)
There's loads more I'm wondering about, but I don't want to seem needy!
*[let's call this '3a']... this also raises the following question: initially, I was thinking an equivalent range to voice would be required, but it seems that Range: Touch and Target: [appropriate to requirements] would make more sense.