Rego Magic to make superior items?

I'm curious how people handle this. Let's say someone wants to turn a sword into a superior sword with the Rego spells in covenants. What would the ease factor be? Or how about make superior glass? (Relevant to lab upgrades)

Edit to add another relevant question:
Another related question is if crafting-oriented Rego Magic can be used to make things like the superior glassware for the superior equipment virtue. Or well, it certainly feels like it should, but I'm trying to imagine the ease factor. The free virtue says that one just needs a crafting 6 specialist, but if one isn't present it's unclear what the ease factor for a Magus would be.

Upgrading a sword using Rego craft magic?

We'll assume that the lesser sword has all of the basic bits needed to make a superior sword, so no further raw materials required. (Rego only makes use of what's available, it won't create anything additional, though it can skip steps that would normally use materials not present in the finished product.) You start with the basic ease factor for a Superior sword, 12. (City & Guild p. 67) Add +3 for the use of Rego craft magic. (Covenants p. 49, HoH: Societates p. 60) According to City & Guild p. 68, the average swordmaker can craft 2 standard longswords per season, but let's further assume that one attempting to make a superior one has a Craft skill higher than five, so that crafting a single sword takes one month or less. (Besides, we're starting with a functional sword-shaped object already made of all the correct materials, which almost has to speed up the process.) That adds another +3 to the ease factor. So the typical ease factor of the Finesse roll to make a superior sword from the base material of a lesser sword would be 18. (12 base + 3 Rego + 3 time)

However, if the crafter really doesn't know anything about swords - not normally a swordsmith, nor a trained combatant - he might take a penalty of an additional +3 to ease factor due to lack of familiarity with the item. OTOH, if he has a superior sword in front of him to study, or has Craft: Swords at a 5 or higher, he would lower the ease factor by 3 instead, reflecting his superior understanding of the task. (HoH: Societates p. 62)

Superior glass would be crafted the same way, referencing the same sections of the relevant books.

I personally rule in my game that tasks can be broken up into smaller steps, thus reducing the penalty completing extremely lengthy tasks in an instant. Glass making, for instance, was actually done in multiple steps in the medieval world, often at completely separate locations. One specialist location would produce the raw glass and ship it to customers. The secondary glassmaker would reheat the glass and shape it to suit. They don't have to start from sand and ash, they may not even know the full recipe or have a shop set up to make it, they only have to handle the final manufacture.

Likewise, a stone mason could throw up subsections of plain, slightly oversized construction with multiple uses of one spell; tie them together with another into a completely average, workable structure; and then use a third spell entirely to handle the fancy work and decoration. By breaking up the tasks, the ease factors become manageable. Not as sexy as throwing up a complete cathedral in an instant, but taking a couple of extra days on the project will likely yield a better built, better looking structure.

Of course, using Creo to conjure the glassware will get you the literal Platonic ideal of the stuff, but that's just cheating. Curse you, medieval philosophy! :wink:

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Wow this is an amazing post. Thank you so, so much.

So now I'm wondering about the superior equipment free laboratory virtue. The issue I guess is that the virtue doesn't really specify what a craftsman of ability 6+ has to do -- how much time do they need to spend? What ease factor are they looking at? Do they actually have to roll, or is it sufficient just to use the glass they create routinely?

For craft tasks - as opposed to artistic endeavors - there are no rolls needed. City & Guild covers the topic in depth, the craftsmen instead make use of a Workshop Total which yields a number of labor points per season. If you aren't playing the accounting mini-game, having a sufficiently skilled craftsman in your covenant should be enough, until he dies/runs off/suffers horribly from age and retires.

Indeed! I guess I should have included in the OP, the ultimate question is if crafting-oriented Rego Magic can be used to make things like the superior glassware for the superior equipment virtue. Or well, it certainly feels like it should, but I'm trying to imagine the ease factor.

it does, just not by real world example. For example if the lab has superior supplies, it gets a bonus of +1 to +3 to the final product- it doesn't break that up into what that actually means by product. similarly it tells you how many of an item can be produced in a month, but also note that 8obody* worked for multiple days without stop, so pretty much any task could be broken up into "steps" of any length greater than a day, even if they don't make any kind of logical sense- for example it might take 3 weeks to forge the blade (with lots of folding and reheating) and two days to shape the tang another day to bind the tang and 2 days to grind the blade, but with magic you could have a step of "complete 3 days worth of shaping the blade" because at the end of 3 days a normal craftsman would stop for the night anyways.
As for creo, there are guidelines for quality of work produced, and any material bonus for ideal materials is already calculated in. Because even an ideal ruby would be cut by a less than ideal gem cutter with less than ideal tools before being set into a less than ideal bracelet or ring.

For ease factors, the numbers for workshop totals in C&G seem to match the given ease factors after the +3 is added for using Finesse. I tend to work off that. But I simultaneously use another rule.

I like to maintain the limits set by C&G for Excellent items (max 1/3 Craft, rounded up). That way exploding dice and various bonuses don't create lasting issues. Otherwise you can end up with things like the +20ish (maybe +23, but I can't remember right now) weapon I once rolled with Finesse. That weapon would forever provide +20ish attack, +20ish defense, and +20ish to enchant it in the lab. By maintaining C&G's cap for craft magic (which makes sense to me anyway but isn't required in the rules), I get to avoid that issue. I actually ask for caps like this as a player so my crafting magi can try to be really good without me having to then worry about breaking anything.

I don't know about improving things, though.

Do you use finesse for the craft skill or something else? Higher of finesse or the actual craft skill?

I base the limit off the relevant Craft Ability itself, exactly as written in C&G. I figure this encompasses the ideas of familiarity in craft magic: you can only build so excellent a thing if you have an idea what that entails. It doesn't stop anyone from making a Superior item because that has no minimum Craft score. It also helps make sense of Verditius stuff. Otherwise it might often make more sense for a Verdiitus to use craft magic, but they tend to dislike it.

For Verditius magi, I keep the same limit. But when they do their Verditius Magic crafting, since they are able to manage even normally unmanageable things, I let them automatically have an item of the best quality they can manage based on their Craft limits in C&G.

Or becomes cursed, turns into a talking salamander living in the forge and criticising the laziness and lack of skill demonstrated by the new smith employed to replace him.