Ring of Power?

A question for more experienced SGs and players.

I am thinking of introducing what may be an overly powerful item into my Saga with newly gauntletted Magi. I am hoping for advice on whether it is too overpowered.

Basically, a simple silver finger ring - should have space for 6 magnitudes of effects if I understand the enchanting rules correctly.

I am thinking it will have a level 20 version of Wizard's Boost (Form) MuVi Gen, with unlimited uses per day.
This should mean that the wearer can cast any spell in that Form under level 15 and get:
a) their usual Penetration, and
b) an extra maginitude worth of effect.
In your opinion, is this too much for newly gauntletted magi?

What Form would you choose?
Would this work on spells with Form requisites?

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thats a very interesting idea.

Whether or not it is too much for newly gauntleted magi is not so easy to answer. If you are the sole storyguide and you want it in your saga then by default the answer is no, it is not too much. If you feel like trying it out: go for it. The worst that can happen is that it ruins your saga and you have to either end the saga or convince the players to let go of the ring.

If you are using troupe style play you might want to discuss the item with your group as the authority to potentially ruin the saga is not purely yours. One solution could be to give the item to a magus of another person to storyguide frequently and then make that magus a central character in your plots, that way the ringbearing magus can be made to feature only when you storyguide. Do make sure to have an explicit agreement about such an arrangement with the player in question.

I would probably go for either Corpus, Vim, Mentem or Terram in no particular order, but I am sure that you will get posters who favor any different forms.

Regarding the form requisites, I will assume that you chose "wizards boost (animal)" for the sake of the example. If you did then the spell ought to work on any TeAn(Req) spells, that is any spells that are primarily Animal spells. It would however not work on TeFo(An) spells, as those spells are Form spells with an animal requisite. Eq a MuCo(An) spell is a Corpus spell with an Animal requisite, which means that it is not an Animal spell. (the requisite does not count as being the form of the spell, for this purpose).

Be aware of the following: By the standard interpretation of the how hermetic magic works such an item would not work. It is generally considered that items with metamagic powers can only target effects that are enchanted into the item. That should not stop you, and in fact if it were me, I would consider that to be a benefit, because it means that your players cannot easily replicate the item. It might be worth considering why and how the ring came to be though. But since you named your post "Ring of Power?" I am assuming that you are going to make the ring a central point in your saga anyway.

This sounds like I have overlooked something. For all that I think I am familiar with the rules, this seems to happen a lot. Where is this said?

Here I was trying to work out exactly how it would affect Spontaneous Spells. (Before or after divide by 2 or 5)

I cannot actually tell you where to find it. I have just noticed that the idea about using metamagic in items is something people propose a lot and when they post about it here lots of other people are usually ready to slam them for it.

The best example I have is that there is a mystery virtue Consummate talisman which has the following description:

The magus may enchant Muto Vim effects, with Personal Range, into his talisman, and may use them on himself when he casts Formulaic spells. (TMR p 90).

here I strongly believe that Muto Vim effects with personal range means that same as I do when I say metamagic which would imply that normally such is not possible through enchanted items. Also note that such a talisman would be non-transferable as talismans (talismen?) can affect their owners with personal range effects, unlike normal magic items and unlike a talisman being used by someone different from the owner. You also cannot make another persons talisman your own under the normal rules.

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MuVi restrictions are discussed in the Muto Vim Guidelines box in the core book on page 159, including items and spontaneous spells.


The relevant bit from the MuVi guidelines is

"You may only put a Muto Vim effect into a magical item if it is to work with another effect in that item. All Muto Vim spells require some tailoring to the specific use, and a magical item effect cannot be so tailored."


@Euphemism and @jason72 showed you, why such a ring and its crafter would be very much sought after in standard Mythic Europe by many magi, especially Verditii and Quaesitores: knowing that somebody overcame a central restriction of MuVi will make them covet the ring for stuff like HoH:TL p.74 Tell of the Forged and Dream of the Forged, and then ArM5 p.100 investigation in the lab..

So unless the topic is trivial in your saga anyway, the PCs might get a lot of attention.

Otherwise the ring is only as troublesome as the acting SG decides, as long as you stick to (ArM5 p.160 Wizard's Boost): "The effects of the extra 5 levels of power are for the storyguide to determine."

It was was the wording in the Wizard's Boost (Form) that specifically mentioned Spontaneous spells that got me all confused. Now I realise that must be an error in my old copy of the 5thEd rules, as I reread the MuVi guidelines. I seem to have a blindspot about MuVi.

So a "Ring of Power" is not something that can be made under Hermetic Rules. Perhaps I could replace MuVi with ReVi "Maintaining the Demnding Spell"

Though now I am wondering if it works the other way around. Can a Vim expert can cast Wizard Boost or similar metamagic on an item generating a spell effect.

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As is by now clear, the item cannot be made under hermetic rules*. But that does not have to stop you. IMO items that violate the rules of magic can be some of the most fun and interesting to have in a saga.

The real issue here is that such items should not be abundant and that they should be meaningful. again IMO an item that allows a magus to boost spells of a single form is a very interesting item that has lots of potential uses. It would mark the magus as special because they have this unique item.
You shouldnt see the rules as a statement of "Everything that the rules shine upon is our kingdom, but the shadowy place where the rules do not shine is ground never to be trodden". See it instead as a safezone, everything within the rules is so safe that the players can be allowed to tinker with it, with little (not no) oversight.
When you do chose to break the rules just know what you are doing and do it deliberately. Ars magica is explicitly a game about searching for the limits of the rules and pushing those limits. If you present your players with things that challenge of break those limits in the game it makes the world feel more alive because it reminds the players that magi are constantly trying to challenge the rules of possibility, not just themselves but NPC's too, and that sometimes attempts at pushing the limits are successful. You can also let the players know what direction you are comfortable in going with pushing the limits by presenting them with examples of magic that pushes the limits. E.g. if you are okay with your players trying to expand the possibilities of metamagic via item then presenting them with an item that can violate the standing rules for metamagic via item quite clearly signals to your players that this is a valid direction to try to expand the limits of magic.

As a corollary: Dont present your players with items (or anything else) that challenges limits that you are not comfortable pushing. E.g. if you want magi to have limited lifespans then dont create a cool NPC who has a longevity ritual that does not cause warping.

*EDIT: I realize now that "Hermetic rules" is somewhat unclear. What I mean is core rules or more precisely: no mystery virtues, no weird hedge magic crossover, no integrations and no breakthroughs.


I'm fairly certain it's only one way - meaning you can cast meta-magic spells on item effects. You could treat this one of two ways.

You could consider activating the item as equivalent to you casting a formulaic spell so this would be like you casting meta-magic on your own spells.

Alternatively you could consider the item to be equivalent to another magus casting the spell in which case your would have to fast cast the meta-magic spell to get the timing right and you would maybe need to have more pen on the MuVi spell than the item does on the effect (depending on whether an item can 'cooperate' with you).

At least, that's my reading of the RAW, it's not something I've had to look at closely before.

I was typing something about breakthroughs and how your original concept could still work but @OneShot and @Euphemism have covered that very well so there's nothing more to add except 'what they said'.

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In my opinion it is the story behind the item which should matter, not the details of rule mechanics.

If you want to introduce that ring, do it. It could be (1) faerie magic, (2) hedge magic, (3) infernal, (4) a bound spirit. And has been mentioned, once the ring becomes known, it will be coveted and the PCs will get a lot of attention. That's a story hook.

There is nothing in the replies to say that you can't do it. It is an opportunity.

Of course, the story opportunity may be a little too much, only you can be the judge of that, but it may take some time before the full significance is revealed, if you care to RP the mystery of items of unknown origin.

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I know I overuse this, but I was actually thinking that the ring itself could be a faerie or a demon, taking the shape of a ring to manipulate the bearer. That's a story hook too.

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This is definitely a viable solution, however as a tactic it is quite dangerous.

Depending on how the Player came to have this item they might feel cheated. If the player to the "magic item" virtue and was instead given a demon they would be right to feel cheated, as the story guide essentially has taken something that should be an advantage and made it into a major liability. if the item was given as addition to whatever that player got as the normal character creation process then it is better but still problematic.

If the item is a faerie or worse a demon then the player is better off putting the item far away and not using it. It also teaches the players that the storyguide is not to be trusted and that they should avoid using the things they are given. That is definitely not a lesson you want to teach your players.

Why not?

Why should everything and everybody in the saga be good? That sounds boring to me.

But of course, if the ring is just another gadget to increase the PC's fire power, then I can agree with you. Introducing an item with a twist, that twist has to be explored in the story, lest there be no point.

The dangerous implication of this would be, that faeries or demons know Hermetic magic in enough detail to modifiy it! How do Quaesitores and other magi in your saga react to that? Wouldn't they try to get ahold of the ring and never return it?

It is not that everything must be good. It is that from the OP I gather that the storyguide is going to hand the players this ring as part of character creation.
I think that for cursed or otherwise harmful items it is better that they are acquired through play because it gives the players a chance to feel like they had a chance to avoid the bad item, that they had agency in having bad luck befall them.

I did not gather that from OP, but otherwise we agree then :slight_smile:

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Or of course made by a mad verdituous who has level 10 warping in his lab so that effects like this just happen sometimes...


Or made by a very secretive magus who broke a limit and never shared his lab notes!

I like this idea very much, of using rules only as a "starting point". That's probably how all RPGs should best be approached but sometimes the familiarity of what is actually printed on the pages may blind us to this approach.