Ruby Talisman for a Flambeau?

So I was looking at how a Flambeau could make a useful Talisman for themselves. Assuming an old-skool Creo Ignem obsessed Flambeau, they would naturally want a Ruby talisman (though a wand might be a bit big, so lets settle for a Ruby gemstone) for that phat +7 bonus to their Ignem spells - trouble is that this costs 15 vis to prepare an tiny precious gem for enchantment.

Now, one thing I was unclear on - assuming a Magic Theory (Enchanting) 4 Magi, I could only invest 10 Vim vis in preparing an item per season. Can I spend 2 seasons to prepare the enchantment or does it all need to be done in 1 season?

If not, then do you need to wait until you get Magic Theory 7 (enchanting) (effective 8 x 2= 16) for a non-Verditus to enchant a simple gemstone? Cos that is going to take a number of years studying MT.

Also in the section which says that you can prepare a composite item either by paying the higher sum of parts, or by paying merely the highest Vim component - why would you ever pay for all the parts? is there some benefit I'm missing?

Thx.

SJE

If you are able to open all parts, why not? you get more pawn ready to invest and spare one season.

Otherwise, I'm not sure I would accept that specialty, but yes, opening gems is hard. THat's not for everybody.

If you open more space you can fill more space. If you don't attune an invested device as a talisman (or use some hubris inducing Verditious mystery) then the number of pawns that you open an item with limits the number of levels of effects that you can invest into the item.

1 season - p 97 col iii, par 2.

Yeppers on both counts. Not uncommon for a mage to make a cheesy but useful talisman early on (maybe a wand or staff) and only put one or two enchantments into it (mainly for a key attunement or two) and let that suffice, then wait until they are large enough to abandon that toy and create the complex talisman they really want before putting any more effort in that direction.

(Don't forget that time in the lab gives exposure experience - 2 pts/season seem minor, but they can add up.)

EDIT - APOLOGIES! I was reading you wrong! Never mind - was multi-tasking, not paying attention - and I'm an idiot. No time to correct now - will later. (Did I mention I'm an idiot?)

In short, no, you are correct - no benefit for Talismans.

You're not missing a benefit, but overlooking the limitations of selection, of designing a staff in the first place.

Let's start with some basic assumptions: 1) that a mage wants the highest vim-capacity talisman possible, and also 2) that they want a wide (if not the widest) selection of attunements possible, so (most?) all would prefer a multi-part talisman over a one-part (if they can afford it). Lastly, that 3) they have a practical limit (2 x MT) that they can invest.

So we start w/ Magic Theory x 2, and start playing with ways to achieve that number. If one large component fills that up neatly, then that's our limit, that's the "largest component" and we cannot exceed that. If, however, our largest component falls below that sum, then we want to either increase that component, or pick and choose our other components to equal MTx2, to achieve the largest talisman we can handle.

Let's say a mage has an effective MT 6, so we have 12 vim to play with and/or a max of 6 components included in the investment*.

(* There can be more substances in the talisman, they're just not invested during the magical process and thus not available for attunements. So if you don't want (or can't afford) any attunements from "iron" or "wood", you can still have a gem on an iron-shod wood staff and the whole thing is "the talisman", you just don't count the iron or wood parts of the talisman for investing/attunements/etc.)

Anyway, 6x2 = 12 is enough for a semi-precious gem as the single largest component of the talisman, 12 vis, and 5 other smaller (or equal-sized) components.

However, if a mage didn't want (or have) a gemstone as part of their talisman, they could instead design a talisman with up to a half-dozen less costly components, perhaps all with tiny or small sizes* - some glass, some bone, some stone, some wood, maybe some lead, iron or bronze - and have all those possible attunements and bonuses add up to the same target number, 12 vis, the max they can handle.

(Again, if, for example, you wanted a staff, you simply wouldn't count the wood/staff as one of the materials or shapes. If you wanted "wood", you could inlay, attach, or otherwise include some tiny amount into the staff and count that as a "wood/tiny" component, for 2 pts.)

That's the diff.

In your case, we start with a precious gem at a base of 15 pts, and so your mage needs a MT of (at least) 8. But right there we have 1 pt extra (2x8 = 16 vs. 15 pts for the gem), so he could either have a Talisman with 15 pts (1 less than max) and 7 other elements, or (if the max capacity was critical) add a single 1 pt (tiny glass, tiny cloth) component for a total of 16 pts. (If the mage had planned out 16 magnitudes of spells to be invested, and that was the dealbreaker, the second option would be preferable, otherwise not.)

So, it's clearly preferable in almost every case to go with the former route, it's just not always possible - and uncommonly not desired, depending on the mage.

(And this seems like a good place to repost the links to Erik Tyrell's combined S&M lists:

Shape & Material by Bonus

Shape & Material by Shape

Other downloads available on the AM homepage.)

[size=85](Edited because I'm an idiot)[/size]

It's a canon example, p 66.

Unless I'm reading this wrong, everything in the above discussion is correct for ordinary enchanted items (including strategies for preferring one method over the other), but quite incorrect for talismans specifically.

It seems to me then that a maga would want her talisman to contain as many bonus-conveying materials as possible.

(For reference, the above quote is found at the bottom of col i thru top of col ii...)

EDIT - APOLOGIES! I was reading you wrong! Never mind - was multi-tasking, not paying attention - and I'm an idiot. No time to correct now - will later. (Did I mention I'm an idiot?)

In short, yes, you are correct, and I was brainfarting - for talismans (only!), the "largest component only" approach is best.

You are indeed reading it wrong. (But, if it's any consolation, you are not alone in this misreading - it's not clearly written, and this crops up at least once a year or more. The latest seems to have been in February: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/talisman-opening/5517/1.)

In the passage you cite, the "capacity" is for "enchanting" a talisman - but before you have a talisman to enchant, you must first "prepare" that object for enchantment (as per p 97). The key passage is on page 98, col i, par 3 -

"You can only attune an item as your talisman if you prepared it for enchantment yourself..."[size=85](emphasis added)[/size]

The passage you cite refers to adding enchantments to an existing talisman, as opposed to instilling those same effects into some random invested enchanted item. Putting enchantments in talismans is much faster, is not limited to "max pawns = pawns used to open", and can be done a bit at a time - something that preparing an item for enchantment clearly does not allow.

This is the common approach, but in practice, since it takes at least 1 season to attune it to any single bonus (even if that season is one where an enchantment is added), a talisman rarely sees more than a dozen bonuses attuned, and often less than half that number. So, while "more is better", there is a practical (if not precisely predictable) limit to when some "more" just never gets used.

(I find myself, when I design a talisman for a specific mage, adding the "important" bonuses to a design, the ones that the mage will prioritize attuning, and then adding a lot of "just in case" bonuses that may or may not ever be attuned, depending on the direction of the saga and the eventual magical choices of that mage. A season is a valuable period of time, and spending one for, say, "+3 to affect living wood" may or may not ever become a tempting tradeoff for that particular mage and that particular saga.)

Gerg, since an item is not a talisman until the moment you attuned as a talisman that invested item (that you had to open yourself and nobody worked on), it remains valid since, to begin with, you had to open it while it was not a talisman

See that post

Hmmm, good point Exar. Thanks for the link to the post as well.

So, is the talisman capacity of highest TeFo in addition to the capacity you get from opening it for enchantment before attunement?

It is the highest TeFo instead.

Which does raise the question of what happens if your highest TeFo is lower than the limit of the item, and the item has already been opened by you to its limit.

Does your talisman lose potency?

then why bother making it a talisman?

Pretty rhetorical. :laughing:

If you have a crappy 10 for highest TeFo, you'd need Magic Theory 6 or such for that to happen.

Since the "limit" in TeFo is for further opening, I believe you may invest the normal limit.

That´s how i´ve done it as well.

I've never met the situation in play (as it was mentioned, it's highly unlikely that a magus strongest Technique and Form total is lower than twice his Magic Theory). However, in the case of a magus' Technique + Form lower than the pawns of vis used to open an enchanted device, I would simply not allow that magus to turn the enchanted device into a Talisman until the Technique+Form became large enough.

The Bonisagus IMS is in this exact position. Her highest TeFo combo is 14, while her Magic Theory x 2 is 20. Thus the pitfalls of hyper-generalizing. Needless to say, she's got some reading to do.

A character with Magic Theory 10 is not hyper-generalized - she's hyper-specialized, in Magic Theory....

Actually, she's both. All her arts are at 7, lol.