Questions about charged items

I have a couple of questions about charged items and I'm hoping some of you fine sodales might be able to answer them.

  1. Hypothetically, let's say I am putting the effect Pilum of Fire into a wand as a charged item, and let's say that I have enough lab total to get 10 charges into the wand, but they have a 1-year expiration date. Now, the rules on charges tell me this expiry is measured from the first use of the effect, so I realize that I can wait 20 years and then start using these charges and that's ok. But if I use one of the charges, does that mean I need to use the other 9 before the year is up? Or are the charges on independent clocks?

  2. Apparently, when you are instilling an effect into an item, you get a +1 bonus to your lab total for every effect already in the item that has a Technique or Form in common with it. To this end, do charges count as previously stored effects? If so, do you get the +1 for each "type" of charge stored, or do you get +1 for every charge ( :smiling_imp: )?

1 I woud suspect you'd have to expend them all within the period, though the rules don't say this explicitly, but otherwise there would be no penalty for charged items

2 the charges all go in simultaniously, so they are not there yet.

I would not allow effect expiry with charged items. Note that charged items made be separate items for each charge. Note then that each item loses all its magic immediately after the charge is used. The same thing applies if you make only one charge. Then effect expiry would not be "limiting an effect."

Honestly, charged items and effect expiry are two of the most potentially broken things out there. Combining them just makes it worse. You're basically getting two seasons of charged items out of one season.


The rules do state clearly. "Design the level of effect for the charged item using the normal rules for enchanted items, with the exception that you do not have to pick a number of uses per day."(p. 96, AM). "Effect expiry: It is possible to instill an effect that will only work for a limited period. This period is counted from the first use of the effect, not from its creation."(P.99,AM). Second, no, the charges are a variant of "uses per day", not multiple effects.

  1. While Saxonus seems to quote RAW correctly, i would totally houserule that to expiry for charged items counting from creation. As noted, since you can split the charges physically, counting expiry as if it was still all in one item would just be silly. Otherwise you get the expiry bonus totally for free and that is just bad.

  2. Definetly not, mr Ulqiorra fan. The charges doesnt count as previous effects, and you do them all at once anyway.

On 2: Think of the charges as a recipe that must bake for a season. The better you are the more you can bake in a single season. But baking 10 loaves of bread simultaneously in one oven doesn't mean any one of them will finish any sooner.


  1. I Realize that charged items + expiry can be powerful, so I will have to ask my GM about what house rules exist in his saga. Direwolf, I am surprised you would have such bold house rules, although they do sound reasonable.

  2. I think I was unclear about this. I'm NOT asking if I can build up charges one by one, cumulatively giving myself a bigger and bigger bonus to my lab total within the one season and applying my bonus to the other charges later in the season. I agree that this is ridiculous. What I was trying to ask is whether or not charges (enchanted in PAST seasons) counted as effects in regards to the lab total bonus that looks at previously applied effects, and if the number of such charges affected this bonus.

Oh, I see. You mean, for instance, that you might make a wand as a charged item with one or more charges one season. Then the next season you want to add a whole bunch of charges to the same wand. I would allow that, myself.

Then you're asking about the lab bonus for having an effect already present. I would rule it as a single effect, regardless of the number of charges, just as it doesn't matter if you have a 1/day versus an unlimited item. The bonus is +1 per effect. You have the same effect that can be used more frequently.


As to two, I got that, it's just pretty clear that "charges" replace "numbers of times per day". Imagine you were trying to increase an item from "once a day" to "unlimited times a day". I think it's easy to see that would not be a "similar effect" but an improvement of an existing one (admittedly not allowed with the current rules). You kind of get that with the lab text kicker. Don't get greedy.

Wearing ear plugs when doing this might be a good idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

Bold? Nah thats a tiny tiny almost minimalistical change!
Introducing the concept of Easy and Hard spells, now that was BOLD. :wink:
Hard spells being anything up to twice the relevant lab total for the character.

Changing the spell R/D/T variables to allow for a much greater range, thats BOLD! 8)
And darn lot of fun as well even if it means most "normal" spells jumps up in casting level more or less severely.
A spell with maxed out (except the +20 Magnitudes for non-ritual Permanence) R/D/T is at +30 Magnitudes (Extreme Range /1500 Days /Selectively Radial) with our houserules(+10 in each category), and magi doesnt start knowing most of them.

An even bigger NOOOOOOO!, to that question then.
If that was true then you could potentially extend that reasoning to claim that work from previous seasons always adds to the following.

Though callen´s idea of treating it as a single bonus isnt too bad. I still wouldnt allow it though. Charged items gets enough bonuses as it is.

I was expecting callen's response, and I would agree with that rule. I also think Direwolf's ruling on #1 makes sense. When I run my own saga some day, I would be happy to use those. It is true that having a +1 bonus per charge is indeed pretty sick and could lead to a really unbalancing situation. In light of which:
Saxonous wrote:

Yeah, yeah. :laughing: I forgot, we have that law against trying to maximize our numbers and assuming we can get the benefit of the doubt. Well, on behalf of those of us representing the lollipop guild, it was worth a shot.

Well, I might be mistaken, but I always thought that when building a charged item you do the following:
1.) You pick an effect defined by a base leve (guideline), duration, target, and range to get the effect level.
2.) You decide on the number of charges adding +5 to the effect level per extra charge to get the final level.
3.) You can enchant the item when your lab tolal equal or exceeds this final level.

So I cannot see where expiry can help you in it as it lets you multiply your excess of lab total - effect level, which has no meaning in chared items.

I do not have my books with me, so maybe extra charges are not added to the final level. I have to check the exact wording. Otherwise, I would strongly reccomend to use this as a house rule (as others have stated before).

I could be wrong (also no books), but I believe it's actually written that the extra charges the first time are based on how much you exceed the lab total for 1 charge.

The abuse would then follow like this example. So, I have a lab total of 62 for my level 60 effect, which would give me one charge. I know that charge will become useless the moment I use it, so I'll add an effect expiry of 1 year since it won't hurt. Oh, look, now I exceed the lab total by 20, giving me 4 (5?) charges. Even if they all expire based on the first charge's use, this is still superior to doing it without expiry.

However, later you would not benefit from effect expiry since the charges are just based on the lab total, not about exceeding anything.


Oh, I seemed to have gotten it all wrong...
In the paragraph about effect exiry (ArM 5 p 99) it reads "..., allows him to instill effects more quickly. It does not allow him to instill effects he could not otherwise manage."

"more quickly" is the crucial part. Charged items: One season to enchant one, so you cannot speed this up!, Lesser enchanted items: One season to create one, you cannot speed this up either! This implies you cannot use this rule on either of them!!! :open_mouth: (Used myself this rule to enchant lesser enchandes items... :frowning: )
If you follow the text "It does not allow him to instill effects he could not otherwise manage." This measn the same: Effect level X and X < lab total < 2X. This means you cannot otherwise manage to instill the effect!!! Again, only greater enchanted items and enchantments in talismans do have the option to use this rule.

Close. If I am reading it right, you can use them, you just won't get a "bigger bang for your buck". But it would still allow you to make items with an "expiration date", and I can see where that could be useful.

Learn a variation of Spell Store, durration 1 month, non ritual.
Cast spell store keyed by a specific movement, like you would a laboritory wand. Put pilam of fire in it.

Make 1 charge, 1 use wands. Many... many of them. You are limited by the amount of wood you have on hand that day.

Well, you do add a risk of a botch at that point.......

Hey all,

Sorry for the thread necromany here, but I do have a question/observation.

I thought it was impossible to 'add charges' to a specific item? Instead, you get a different, new item or items with the appropriate number of charges.
Example 1: You make a charged item in the form of a 'potion.' You can make 5 vials of it in season 1. In season 2, you get another 5 vials. You can't make a barrel-sized draught with 5 'doses'; it has to be the same outward appearance.
Example 2: You make a charged item in teh form of a magic wand. In season 1, you choose it to be one item that has 5 charges. In season 2, you get another item with 5 charges. You can't add 5 charges to the first wand, nor can you make 5 wands with 1 charge each. It has to be another wand, with 5 charges.

Also, I'd probably rule that effect expiry can't be combined with charged items, just for broken-ness' sakes. Though we should filter my 2 cents to 1 cent since I haven't, strictly speaking, started playing 5e yet :slight_smile:.

I don't think charges must be on 2 different items but i think in case of charged items, that is of few importance, isn't it?

I believe you decide upon creation, whether you have 1 item with 5 charges, or 5 items with 1 charge each.

If you repeat the activity in another season, you can't "upgrade" the 1 item from 5 to 10 charges. It's either 2 items with 5 charges each, og 10 items with 1 charge each (or 1 item with 5 charges AND 5 items with 1 charge each...)

PS I know the reality of these examples don't quite add up, since the second season you'd be working froma Lab Text, meaning you get more charges.