Quick Charged Items+Research=Fast Breakthroughs?

Quick Charged items, the breakthrough you can get from Learned Magicians lets you create a single charged item it your lab in a matter of hours.

You still use a lab total so you could still choose to experiment near as I can tell. If thats the case then you might be able to use Quick Charged Item creation for original research. This would make original research very very fast.

For instance you can create a magnitude 1 charged item in one hour if you've learned the Quick Charged Item virtue. So in a typical 10 hour lab day a Magus could experiment as much as 10 different times. Heck it's entirely possible to achieve a discovery in the morning and stabilize it by dinner time.

Higher level effects take more time (not much it's 1 hour per magnitude) but of course yield more breakthrough points. You'd be risking warping that way but you would need to make less extraordinary result rolls so you'd get fewer of the inevitable botches and story events.

It's a neat idea, but why would stabilizing be shortened too? Serf's parma here.

You have to repeat the experiment exactly the same to stabilize so it would have to be done in the same amount of time. Of course it usually takes more tries to stabilize.

I don't remember the rules for new research, but a mage studying an outside tradition has no control over the Insight a particular source gives him, and all mages get the same insight from the same source. Basically the Storyguide dictates from the top down the exact effect an insight gives them. She's even allowed to give it a level higher than their current lab total. So if the Storyguide said that that strange hedge-y text gave him the Insight for a charged item... it'd work, I guess.

IOW, RAW puts the power in the Storyguide's hands, which is convenient, since that's what most Storyguides would rule anyways. Can't wait to get home and read the rules on new research.

Here, he already has down the integration process.
What he is using is this new speed with charged items to try to make original research with the help of quick charged items, which are done in a few hours.

For example, he wants to invent range "near", and tries to discover it by instilling a quick charged item with that new range, experimentating... stabilizing in the afternoon, during a full season.

IMO, since you need to do original research, I could see that only if the topic of the research is adequate to item (and not spells!), especially charged item to work.

Since most research concern guideline or magic, they concern more spells so I would object to that.

This is true for Insight using Ancient Magic but not for True Lineage's Seeking the Unknown.

OTOH, HMRE p 102 "The magus may only create one device per season until he achieves a Breakthrough." Not to mention, ArM5 p107 "At the beginning of each season, consider the project you are working on ..." which seems to limit to one experiment per season.

HMRE 102 refers only to integrating quick charge items, not to original research after the fact. ArM5 107 is definitely the right direction.

I can see nothing in the RAW to prevent this, however it's obviously something the authors didn't consider. What I can do is arm Storyguides with something else the authors failed to consider that may make their munchkin reconsider whether they want "But it doesn't say I can't" to be true all the time.

ArM5 102: Multiple lab activities. If quick-charge items are a lab activity, then they are limited by "All activities you perform in a season must be of the same type (learning spells, instilling powers in an invested device, creating potions) and must use the same Technique and Form. To perform multiple activities, simply add up the levels of all activities performed and apply your Lab Total to the total of the levels." So they can only create as many chartae levels as the their lab total, divided into any number of chartae, which means he can only gain a number of breakthrough points equal to his lab total / 5 per season. Which is the same number of breakthrough points he could achieve by inventing a single regular charged item over the course of a single season, so it doesn't speed up breakthroughs any. (although it DOES point out that charged items are the way to go for trying to achieve breakthroughs, since you can use your whole lab total, instead of half, to get points)

Even more interesting: "If you perform Arcane Experimentation, you add a single simple die + risk modifier to your lab total, but any results rolled on the extraordinary results chart apply to all activities." I have no idea how to apply that rule in what's already an obviously silly situation. Maybe if the first chartae in the season is a discovery, so will all other chartae in the season? But because of the above, you can still only gain up to your lab total in breakthrough points. It would let you "toy" in the beginning of the season with one chartae, then if you get a discovery go nuts on other chartae -- or even a completely different lab activity with the same TeFo. Which is amusing. To avoid that last one, I'd make the player commit to a lab activity before designing any chartae rather than let him use it as a test case. I'm not sure you can make him commit to a certain number of chartae though, but it'd be fun to try.

Once you've convinced your munchkin that Chartae are stupid "as written" and need house ruling, present any house rules about original research as a package deal. The President doesn't get a line item veto and neither does he.

PS: I am in no way denigrating munchkins. I am myself both a munchkin and a rules lawyer and I rate this trick 4 stars.

Munchkin is fun, as long as the troupe accepts it. :mrgreen:

I think it is pretty clear Chartae and Amulets are not Hermetic devices, but only function as hermetic charged devices. OTOH, ArM allows experimentation on any magical devices, hermetic or not.

Chartae experimentation should help improve Learned Magic. Until you have integrated quick charged items into hermetic magic, there's nothing you can do for hermetic magic.

Once it has been integrated, I see nothing stopping you from completing a breakthrough every season although warping might be an issue.

Doesn't apply. I'm assuming the breakthrough has already been made and has stipulated the Magus already has the virtue. So by the rules of the virtue he can create a single charged item in a matter of hours. The same as learned magicians.

Yes but until this virtue came about you only generated one lab total per season. Even if you worked on multiple projects in one season they had to share the same TeFo and you had to split your lab total amongst them. This virtue seems to require you to generate separate lab totals for each device created, making lab work a non seasonal activity.

I suppose it's possible to assume that your still stuck with only one TeFo per season and you still have to split up your lab total. But is that really how you thought that virtue and the learned magicians chartae worked before hearing my observation about experimentation? (If your answer is yes please look up the term hindsight bias and ask yourself the question again. :wink: )

My Snarky comments aside having a character perform many experiments using Quick Charged items is probably a bad idea even if the rules did specifically and unequivocally allowed it. This has less to do with the perks characters are trying to get and more in my opinion because of the ridiculously large number of story events and botches that they will generate.

Actually using this method is very self limiting.

Of course if you want a game with characters chewing through hermetic breakthroughs like crazy limited only by the constant supply of weirdness their experiments generate go for it. (for me it could be fun me but I'm weird that way and I realize many people wouldn't like.)

My beliefs were:

  • Chartae are some sort of Ceremonial casting using Performance Magic (Astronomy),
  • Experimentation takes a full season,
  • the Breakthrough allowed you to create Hermetic Chartae.
    Well, before starting to read this thread I had no beliefs as I don't care about alternate magic systems. And if it wasn't for a friend that didn't want to lug his collection back home I couldn't even read them.

I never cared for the 1 TeFo per season rule (is it only Lab Text?) as I intend to use a proportional system if I ever need 2 TeFo the same season; be it instill, invent or read.

That's exactly my point actually. I never thought quick charged items would be restricted by multiple lab totals. OTOH, I never thought quick charged items would let you make one breakthrough per season, either. You really opened my eyes to the possibilities and after careful review I've decided it's time to start applying all the rules equally. Or I start house ruling, and once I start house ruling we have to start applying "What does the storyguide want to happen?" to the rules interpretations. It's confirmation bias to say that we have to follow the letter of the rules when letting a magus use quick charge items for experimentation, but should listen to the intent when we try to apply multiple lab activities rules.

Alternative theory: "You must also roll on the Extraordinary Results chart for each season that the project involves." (ArM5 107) So If your project doesn't take up a season, you don't roll on the extraordinary results chart. Which means no discoveries. It also means you can experiment risk free and get a simple die on your quick charge item lab totals at no cost (and no benefit).

Threadomancy to note that ArM5 p102 "any results rolled on the Extraordinary Results chart apply to all activities performed in the season." Might be useful for later searches.

So you are limited to a single roll per season even if you experiment on 20 Quick Charged Items. That piece of RAW wouldn't stop you from doing non-lab activities to cover the rest of the season, though.

So if you experiment on a quick charged item the first day and if you get a breakthrough you can automatically stabilize it the next day because you have to use the same roll and result.

You can then churn out breakthrough after breakthrough day after day for your whole season using the same roll over and over again.

Even I don't think that'd be a good idea. :smiling_imp:

Oooh! Such perfect evil! The goggles do nothing!

Rule of the dragon that will eat you enters play here.