The language regarding these confuses me. Could someone walk me through two or three examples, please?
Without knowing what's tripping you up, I'll give it my best shot. Please keep in mind, however, that I've never tried running an Amazon character before.
Xanthippe, an amazon sorceress, want to create a spear instilled with the power to inflict a Light Wound upon a Seen Stranger at will (Base 5, +10 unlimited uses).
Step 1 - Preparing the Item: First, Xanthippe must craft a spear. She has a Dex of 1 and the Craft (Bronze) ability at 4+1 for a Workshop Total of 6. While this would be sufficient to create a Standard quality spear in the normal time frame, she needs a weapon of Superior quality so she keeps working another season so that she meets the necessary Workshop Total of 12 (6+6)
Consulting ArM5, a small bronze item has space for (5x2) = 10 magnitudes of incantations so it can easily accommodate the effect our sample sorceress wishes to invest. Note that Xanthippe could have used Craft (Wood), since she doesn't have that skill and the shaft can only hold (2x4) = 8 magnitudes of spells.
Step 2 - Calculate Temple Total: Next, Xanthippe must calculate her "Lab Total". She has the following statistics: Int 2 + Alala 8 + Soma 6+6 (including her scepter) + Amazonian Spellcraft 4 + Aura 4 = 30.
Miraculously, her Temple Total is just enough to instill the desired effect into the item! Note that amazonian enchantment doesn't require Vis. The total amount of time expended upon the project was three seasons and the spear can still accept 7 magnitudes of incantations!
I hope this is helpful, but if you need additional assistance please let me know where you're having trouble and I'll try to address the matter in another example.
Well, I wasn't sure what was tripping me up either, or I'd have been more specific. Looking back, I think the first sentence of the section is misleading, and lent a confusing air to the rest of the piece. It's much clearer now, thanks.
Not strictly on topic, but still an Amazon-related question:
Why does The Shield-Sister Made Whole (p39) have a duration of Month? Shouldn't it be Momentary, like Hermetic 'instant healing' spells (and thus be a much lower-level spell)?
Serf's parma on the exact page reference, but the two main requirements for amazonian rites are that the spell in question must:
A. Have a requisite Art.
B. Be of Month duration.
Thus, the spell has a duration of Month so that it can be made permanent in accordance with the rules of Amazonian Spellcraft. It's a bit weird, I admit, but arbitrarily choosing "Months" isn't thematically all that different than arbitrarily choosing "Momentary" since the unorthodox RDT parameters used by the amazons would add magnitudes to certain spells either way...
Ah, I missed that bit. Thanks again!