Philosophical Alchemy

Hi guys,
The virtue Philosophical Alchemy lets you distil vim straight into a magic item. This can either be used to increase it's maximum limit, or count towards it.

My questions are:

  1. Can you keep distilling vis into an item? It takes you a period of time to put 5 pawns into it. Can you then reset the apparatus and put another 5 into it, or does it need to be opened "properly" to finish it?

  2. What happens if you don't enchant it or open it when you are finished? Does the extra vis melt away with time, or does it remain, waiting to be completed?

  3. What would happen if you tried to settle into a compound item?

Afaik (and I sadly don't have that book right next to me at moment, so going on memory).. you can only put that amount into a single item, and so you can't just leave it running and have 1000 vis spaces.

I imagine it just sits there.. it can't be used in any particular way unless you open it however. Except of course maybe just steal the vis out of it with Vim spells. Though I'm unsure if I'd allow that, as it basically gives no downside to using it over just distilling vis for personal use... hmm.. actually, yeah.. forget I said that.. I'd say the vis in the item has been permanently absorbed into it, and will stay that way, waiting until you open it, but otherwise useless.

I'd say it works fine if you put it in a compound item, it never says otherwise if I recall.

I also am going by memory here, but I don't beleive it says one way or the other if you can let it run for multiple seasons and continue to increase the items capacity. Personally I'd allow it, the item can still only hold so much.

I'll agree that it just sits there with no way to get it out, posibly if you have the verditius mistry that allows you to reuse vis from items you could gather it.

Agnar, that's the point.. the item can't only hold so much.. the extra stuff you distil into it prior to opening can get added above and beyond the normal limits due to its size and material, which is why I believe it should be capped at just the one use.

Oh, and I have my book now Brutus, and it says that once it's been opened with philosophic alchemy, it's ready for enchantment OR it may be opened normally.. at which point you either add the opened spaces as a bonus on top, or count them towards the maximum limit and therefore have to put less vis into it. But I reckon you can't open it if you start enchanting it straight away, so would only probably be useful for small devices if you wanted such.

It also says you create the item to distil into as par hermetic alchemy, which specifically says you can use a compound device as normal, so no problems there.

Still doesn't specify either way though.. but maybe they didn't think they had too.. given you can't really open an item more than once.

That makes sense. Otherwise you could leave it distilling into the item for years on end and have a gold ring with hundreds of spaces in it.

I think that the normal rules of compound items would apply - before you start you have to decide if you are opening all of it or just the most expensive part.

Yup, that works

I'd forgotten that you could use it to get bonus spaces and was only thinking of the ability to open spaces above what you could normally do with you magic theory score.

Going back and reading it again it says...
"An item opened by Philosophic Alcamey is ready for enchantment or may be opened normally in the season immediately following the process"

The second part of this could be used to argue that you can only do it once. Or you could aguee that by keeping the process going your still opening it.

I think I'd house rule you can do it for as many seasons as your score in alchemy. It makes sence that the more skilled you are in the art the better you can do.

Slight problem there, there is no alchemy score .. ^^

you should have a cult lore (alchemy). this is what I was refering too

You'll have cult lore (appropriate cult) not cult lore (alchemy).

Actually he should have some specific b Lore[/b] such as "Green Cockerel Lore"

  • no-one actually has "Cult Lore" - it doesn't exist (any more than "Area Lore" - they have some particular Area's lore as (Area) Lore)

in "Green Cockerel Lore", he can have a speciality b[/b] which can be written temporarily as (Cult) Lore (alchemy), and get +1 on the alchemical aspects of using cult rules, regulations, myths and initiations as they relate to alchemy. (Note that's not the same as getting +1 on Philosophic Alchemy activities, which don't actually use your (Cult) Lore when you perform the P.A activities.)

You can argue that it does increase your effective (Cult) Lore for Initiations in and of Philosophic Alchemy...

i Lore deliberately has no practical use outside of the context of running a cult.[/i]

A further scary thought. Composite items

Just imagine, you spend a season allowing 6 pawns of vis to distil into an object. You then put it into a Creo -Vim chest to stop it from deteriorating. You spend another season doing another item, then another item.

You now have 6 items, each with 6 pawns in them - you combine them into a composite item and open a part of it. You spend a few more seasons opening the different parts of the item. You now have an item that is more powerful than most magi's Talisman. It has 36 on top of what it can normally hold - not bad for a non-verditius mage.

Why not use their Philosophae score?

Could use that too, i just figured usng an ability score was a good way to cap how much you could do. I'd probally stick with the lore since it better describes your advancement into the societies secrets.

Since all of this is really delving into house rules due to lack of clarity, I'd probally limit the bonus slots you could add, or seasons used to fill the item, to some ability (lore/philosophy) regardless of if it's a single or compound item.

You need to open an item in a single season. You cant do this (short of talismans and item attunement which are a bit different). Opening a compound item made of "pre-opened" components in a single season could be done but only if the total unopened space of the final composite item is lees than or equal to 2* magic theory.

The scary idea is Philosophical Alchemy + elder verditious runes letting you pour in (Philosophae * Magic theory) + the bonus from Philosophical Alchemy. That can get you absurdly high totals.

No wonder the folks at Verdi are such jerks in everything I've read so far! A mature Verditius (MT:7 and Phil:5) with Elder Runes could consume up to 140 pawns of vis a year if he's pushing hard. Further, consider the not-too-unreasonable case:

Phil: 6

  • MT: 10
  • Elder Runes
  • Philosophic Alchemy
  • 10 years to prepare for the Contest at Verdi

It is a wonder that Sardinia isn't a heap of ash because of a lab experimentation botch.

:laughing: :laughing:

From: Rowan ex Merinita

You daRned Verditius are REALLY the ones responsible for depleting the Roman Tribunal of it's magical resources! Don't give me that garbage about the Dominion. Had you left well enough alone or even just harvested in a "sustainable" fashion the whole peninsula would have many more magical auras for the rest of us!

But no. You have a "market" to service. You say it is not your fault! You don't even harvest the vis yourself, you say. You simply provide a service and can't be held responsible for the conduct of your customers. Balderdash.

Your greed and craft feed others addiction to power. The results are manifestly obvious.

Sodales! Save our Amazing Magical Environment! March on House Verditius!

:smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

To answetr your signature, 10 botch dice would not be enough in that case.

140 pawns. YOUCH!!!!

Reminds me to get out and grab a copy of HoH:MC....



Grrreat. Envrionmentalists for the Magic Realm. :slight_smile:

Hmm...If Rowan had the backing of Handri... "We'll send Lough Caillte's Mab to go live at Verdi for a year. The threat of that should be more than enough." :smiling_imp:

However, some interesting ideas have been presented here ... (scribbles notes)


I got mixed up about fully opening partially opened devices - I had been looking at Talismans :blush:

I had a major mistake - for some reason I thought that with a composite Talisman you could open up the rest of the spaces that you didn't when you crafted the item. e.g. MT of 6

Ruby (12)
Saphire (12)
Wooden Staff (2 * 4 = 8)
Shod in Iron (5)
Gold inlay for Gem (10)
Silver skull image (6 * 2 = 12)

For a total of 59 pawns, open a Gem first to make a composite item - then as no item is greater than 12 pawns he can open the others in a season each.

However, composite items, even as Talismans don't work that way. No-matter how much space the parts could individually hold, as soon as you combine them into an item opened for 12 pawns of space, that is it. It can no-longer hold any more.
Being a talisman allows you to put extra space into it because of your connection to it. In the staff above, it will hold 12 pawns until he opens it as his talisman, then he can add extra space at 12 a season until it reaches the maximum his arts dictate.

The components mean nothing as far as space is concerned.

Now, if these 6 already held 6 pawns each, his composite item would hold 48 pawns before he attuned it as his talisman. The question is, would it hold his combined arts + 36, or would that be included in the total?