For once I am not totally happy with your entry. bear with me
Can you create 4 unrelated magic items (because they are unrelated) in a single season? It works for spells, but lacking my book here I seem to recall that this cannot be done with magic items as per the RAW.
using items in the lab is WHY you get a lab improvement. If you do not use them I think you are abusing the system. They do not seem to be useful items for Ranulf.
I would try to search for another item to do something useful in the lab. Maybe even another form. Maybe CrHe to provide inexhaustible Sun duration fuel for the diverse fires, or have the walls of the lab be a permanent all-encompasing fire, or trap a fire elemental or a sample of mount etna's lava in a circle item that keeps them floating mid air for experimentation for example. I think it would work better to improve the lab and seem less of a trick to match a formula without matching the spirit of the rules.
The real artist living with Ranulf would surely oppose such base
I crave feedback, disagreement is not a problem, especially with constructive criticism.
It's totally legit per page 102:
(hey it talks about creating potions, I wonder if it's a copy/paste from fourth edition)
I had rather liked the idea of a set of little tools to manipulate fires. I had imagined Artisano using them.
I hadn't gone about this as an exercise in optimization. I asked myself what sort of effects would produce an ignem bonus in the lab. The fact that it is four devices rather than one is irrelevant to the bonus provided. It seems to me that many lab effects are designed to be of limited use. If the item isn't specifically crafted for the laboratory it won't provide a bonus. If Ranulf can't get a bonus for the effects already instilled in his talisman such as Mindful Talisman or Topiary of Flames then I kind of concluded the lab personalization rules involved a level of abstraction so great that crafting enchanted devices that duplicated what could be accomplished with non-fatiguing spontaneous magic wouldn't be an issue.
But I can see how it seems silly. I'll have him enchant something different
Ranulf's talisman can already create exceptionally large piles of wood (target group +2 size) with duration sun three times per day, so this would be redundant.
These are good ideas but they run into what I think is a weakness of the laboratory personalization rules - warping. These are the sort of effects that give laboratories warping traits. There are no published examples of virtues or flaws that lower warping and each point of warping means that 10% of your products are messed up in some way. It is my opinion that no reasonable magus (especially one who has formidable lab totals to begin with) would voluntarily choose to risk getting a warping score in his lab for a measly 2 or 3 extra points in a specialization. Yet the characters in game I'd think would be aware of the reality of labs that warp the effects created in them (how could they not notice), this makes the really cool labs undesirable to the characters not just the players. I'd house rule it for my game, but, as I said above, I feel compelled to keep Ranulf scrupulously rules compliant.
As noted in MoH, Ranulf's laboratory has been opened as an en enchanted device and it still has five open pawns left to enchant.
His Cr(Mu,Re)Ig lab total is 99 including +10 worth of shape bonuses ( +7 for hearth -create fire- and +4 for room -create something within- capped by his magic theory score of 10) and +3 for the 3 ignem effects already enchanted in the device. A +1 bonus for choosing to be an early riser for a season and his lab total reaches 100 to allow him to instill a level 50 effect.
Does that please you more? (It's a level 50 effect and, according to Covenants, warrants a +5 bonus rather than a +4)
Ah, artisano using the wands. That would work. In that case I think you would be better off if you included some extra uses in the items.
The hearth is very good as well as an alternative.
A chilling effect to reduce fire heat in thew lab when doing burnin' stuff would also be useful. IIRC your old hearth did not include one of those, only one to reduce fires, but not heat. Being whio they are the 2 occupants of the lab might not mind the heat, though.
Sensible counterpoints all around. Thx We use a much more abstracted lab specialization rules system since we do not like the official one, so I am not very confident in a lot of the stuff there
After improving his laboratory and getting a few more points of arts under his belt Ranulf turns to a lab text that he's probably had for over 30 years but he's never been able to learn until now.
His intellego ignem is lab total is
magic theory 11
for a total of 80
then divided by 2 because of his deficiency in intellego gives him 40
Eyes of the Flame (p 141)is level 35. It will give him a change to see through all of the arcane connection fires that he's been learning to create and talk through, cast spells through and teleport through.
But can he cast it?
talisman attunement 6
method caster 3
for a total of 55 +stress die
divide that by 2 because of his deficiency and he'll still get over 25 so he'll be able to cast it. His chances of casting it without loosing fatigue however are negligible even with a strong aura.
He'll want this one. With a similar spell bonus from Patient Spell his lab total is 68 he'll take a nocturnal lab schedule for a season to get his lab total to 70 and learn it at level 35
If patient spell doesn't apply, then his Rego Vim total is 64 so he can get a level 32 spell in a season. He'd take diurnal watching ward from earlier in the thread at level 30 so he can still load up level 40 spells in it (and take an extra four days for R&R because he can use the lower lab total).
I'm thinking that this is the same effect at a different duration but there is a triggering aspect to Watching Ward that Patient spell doesn't have. Is this enough of a change to make the effect closely related rather than the same?
While I think that this spell follows the guidelines as intended, if it were my game I might invoke the central rule and make it a bit more difficult to pull off. It seems too easy to collect a few hundred trapped spells to go all off at a specified moment for me to be comfortable with the balance of it.
Two seasons expanding his transformation of fire spell adapted to animal products
Consummate Transformation of Fire
Mu Te (An, He,Ig) Level 40
R: Voice, D: Diam, T: Part (+1 size)
This spell transmutes an object of stone, wood, soil, metal, animal or plant derived material or part of some such object into a fire. The fire is still essentially the original object and will not be extinguished for lack of fuel but it can be doused or extinguished in other ways. The transmuted fire is no larger than 20 paces in size and it is hot enough to do +5 damage. Objects smaller than 20 paces in size will turn into fires of their own size when they are subjected to this spell.
(Base 5, + 2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Part, +2 to affect stone metal and gems, +2 Herbam and Animal requisite, +1 size)
Going by the RAW, Erick and I are, AFAIK, right, and spells like that are perfectly legit.
Sadly, this was flamed down by Rival Magic, IMO exactly because of Moon Duration waiting spells. Serf's parma, but the last page of the ward guys makes that an impossibility. I don't remember very well, but, while speaking of integration, it states something along the lines of "hermetic magic can't do non-ritual waiting spells", and goes on to say that, with integration, non-ritual versions of watching wards would be possible (thus implying they aren't).
I'm sorry for my bad memory, so I advise you to check it, but, as far as I can remember (and understood), we're toast
Improved watching spells (RM p74):
"hermetic magic currently lacks a way of binding a watching effect and a spell together without a separate ritual, Watching ward, which requires vis
Minor hermetic virtue: watching spells
The magus is able to create watching ward spells that do not need to be cast as rituals. A prerequesite of the Form Vim is added to the spell, and vis is not required unless the spell would be a ritual anyway"
On the other hand there is a Non-ritual spell in MoH that functions as a duration concentration spell container(p113) . Turns out that it's Ranuf who knows it.
I could sidestep the entire ward issue by instead of making a new ward spell make a lesser enchanted device to cast maintain the demanding spell on Ranulf's patient spell which in turn is holding a copy of skin/hide of wax.
I'm not convinced that Hermetic magic shouldn't be able to do non-ritual wards in fact the core books says, implicitly, that it can. I'd mark down the restriction in Rival magic as a goof similar to the magic realm aligned spells misstep with one exception, that exception is that being able to que up an arbitrarily large number of spells to go off at a given time is a bit too powerful an effect for it's level. It might be that the author of Rival magic wanted to make a change in the rules rather than was oblivious to what was in the core book.
I figure after about three decades of (very quietly) searching for someone to craft an item of eyes of the eagle for him he'll finally find a willing partner.
Here's the lesser enchanted device he'll trade for it (I figure that the sort of magus who does eyes of the eagle wants to be able to see things, or perhaps has issues with faeries or demons who love darkness, or perhaps even Ranulf's fellow Flambeau from MoH; Tolidies).
Another use for that could be for someone who wants it for quick, basic measuring. Might be worth it to make it unlimited uses/day.
Oh, and possibly make it Conc+Item maintains Conc? Downside of not having multiple sets of light, advantage of being able to shift it around as wanted...
I wanted to make it unlimited uses per day. I just didn't have the lab total to do it as a lesser enchanted device.
As far as conc. + item maintains. You're right. That's almost always better than sun for items. I guess I just wanted to see D: sun used as an option for an enchanted item from me for once. Ranulf wouldn't share my desire for balance. I'll switch it.
Now that Ranulf can (when he needs to) see things far away he'll find a way to make use of this new ability.
He'll invent this one at level 30 (he has the lab total do level 35, which would allow wizard's boosted versions of Pillum of Fire to be given expanded range but that would hamper his penetration and he can't cast both boosting spells himself at the same time)
His talisman stall has oodles of open space. Ranulf's talisman also has seven effects instilled in it and it would take years and rooks to replace. I can't imagine Ranulf choosing to undergo an initiation that involves sacrificing his talisman.
I had considered instilling thaumaturgical transformation of plants to iron instead of Shadow of Spring Times Departed for the original version of Ranulf but I figured that it was a whole lot less interesting and it provided nothing new for the reader. The following effect is basically thaumaturgical transformation of plants to iron with an additional three magnitudes added for additional hardness.