Relics and magic Weapons and equipment

Hi folks still a bit green with Ars Magica. Could you tell me where I can find information on how relics and magic weapons and items work?

I'm looking into if a PC Companion can start with something like a +1 or 2 magic (relic) long sword? How would that work and look mechanically? What would the relic long swords stats be?

A relic contains faith points, and does not normally give a weapon bonus even if it is built into a weapon. There is a virtue [core:48] to start with one. The mechanics is in [RoP:D], with which I am not familiar.

A +1 sword is probably a superior or excellent [C&G:69]. Whether you can start with one is mainly a question of wealth.

A magic weapon should have more character than just a bonus. The rules are in the Laboratory chapter [core]. It is not normally something you start with.

An iron sword with a bonus from e. g. ArM5 p.110 can be made by a young Verditius magus with a typical HoH:MC p.124f Minor Virtue Items of Quality in a single season at the cost of 1 pawn of Vis : "For example, swords are common items of quality, empowered with the magical ability of “+4 harm human and animal bodies.” When used in combat, this +4 bonus would be added to the combatant’s Attack roll, over and above any situational or other Ability bonuses that he may receive."
This bonus is limited by the Philosophiae score of the magus, so +1 and +2 swords are plausible as well.

Thank you friends! These are great bits of advice!

A +1 Item of Quality is surely not worthwhile. An expert craftsman can make a perfectly mundane, but excellent item cheaper than your Verditius. TBH. Items of Quality always struck me as too mundane for a season of magus' time YMMV.

But yes, that's a fourth interpretation of the magic/relic item the OP requested. Again, not normally something you start with.

Whatever. The OP asked for a

The +1 or +2 Item of Quality weapon comes closest to that.

@knightgoblin is certainly able to sort out, just which of the proposed options fits his saga: no need to discuss this here on the forum without better knowledge.

Personally, I like all the options proposed. You have been amazing. You all have opened my eyes when it comes to magical/quality/relic weapons and options.

I'm really looking into options that a beginning Companion Noble can have a holy sword that kicks donkey and done within the rules, sothat other PCs do not think a player is being treated better than another by the GM.

A wealthy knight would IMO merit at least a superior, and maybe an excellent sword. That's a bonus, but compared to the enchanted weapons the magi can make, it is nothing.

Taking relic you get the holy relic, which may be embedded in the sword (whether excellent or not), which has certain benefits, most notably magic resistance.

AFAIK the only canon virtues to grant enchanted items are for redcaps only, but I see no reason why there should not be one for non-redcaps. It is easily house-rulable.

One canon approach is to spend BP on enchantments in the covenant design, and let the troupe (magi) lend them to loyal servants. Less plausible if the companion is independent though, but if the characters are all covenfolk, you can always find enchantments for every concept.

Grogs (pg 76) has the "Minor Enchantments" minor virtue, which can be taken by anyone and gives you up to 25 levels of enchantments.


This sounds like you have the "beginning Companion Noble" assigned to a player instead of a magus, intending to make the character competitive mechanically.
If that is your intention, you might wish to look at HoH:TL p.104 box Mythic Companions and the many different types of Mythic Companions spread over the Ars Magica books. Best start with HoH:TL p.104ff Heroic Characters and RoP:TD p.16f Nephilim .
Run of the mill Companions are not competitive even in the short run, though - and are not intended to.

Wow, I don't have either of those books. This has been very enlightening! I thought Companions were typically more competitive. Thank you! I'll look into this Mythic Companions and Heroic Character idea.

The Gift itself is worth 10 virtues if you compare magi with mythic companions. That should tell you how weak mundanes are.

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The Gift (ArM5 p.36) itself is for free for its social effects described on ArM5 p.75ff. But having the Gift opened to the Hermetic Arts and been put through an Hermetic apprenticeship (ArM5 p.32, p.106f, Apprentices p.34f) is worth 10 points of Virtues indeed.

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Not only Hermetic, but any apprenticeship. Gifted sahir, gruagach, amazon... the list goes on.