Spells in Items

So there are a couple of questions that have been bugging me for a while. Say I put a Concentration duration version of Gift of the Bear's Fortitude (MuCo 20) into a ring. Wanting to beef the ring up a bit, I make it so that the ring maintains the concentration (+5) and I allow for unlimited use (+10). So, I need to craft a MuCo 35 item. So far, so good.

Here's where my questions arise:

  • Does this count as a MuCo 20 spell for purposes of Warping or a MuCo 35 spell? Clearly, the answer to that is important, since the latter would cause Warping and the former would not.

  • What if an enemy wants to dispel the effect. Are they aiming to dispel a MuCo 20 effect or a MuCo 35 effect. Again, the answer to this is very important to both parties.

My preference is to separate the Spell Effect from the devices effect modifications. The device is acting as the caster. So level 20 for both questions.

L20 on both accounts.

Of a more concerning note would be that under that build you cannot turn the ring off, even by taking it off (consensus of prior threads on constant effect devices). You could get around that by having it concentrate for a set amount of time, say 15 minutes, before shutting off.

But it's not a constant use item - look at the core rulebook on page 99 under Concentration in the first column.

Tangentially - I've been thinking about separating the base effect from the effect modifications in spell design as well.

i.e. A ReTe effect to lift a boulder might be Base 5, which is then modified for RDT. At the moment when another spell tries to move the same boulder in a different direction shouldn't the higher of Base effect + Pen decide the outcome?

Thanks to Jason72 for correcting me, yes, looks like all that malarky does not apply. Makes duration concentration/maintain concentration items look very nice for long term effects. Even if you do have to "turn on the lights" in the morning.

Well, in theory you could have "left the lights on all night" to follow your metaphor. However, too much of that might lead to Warping.

I thought "concentration/maintain concentration" effects needed to be concentrated on when the duration passes over Sun (or something) so they would remain "on", or flicker? Which is why the constant effect rules are for D:Sun (+2 mags), Environmental trigger (+3) and 1 use/day (+1) = total +14 levels.

Hmm, you may be right about that.

Makes me think that many powers suggested in familiar bonds to maintain concentration might be better using the constant configuration too, as they won't flicker. Some powers are better as Set and forget.

I myself would call it Level 35. Item modifications are part & parcel of the effect.

Any RAW ref either way? I went looking couldn't find an answer, but then warping really does talk about the spell level so in absence of a specific rule making warping more forgiving - you might be right.

No RAW ref. Just simple logic. Look at spells specifically intended for magic items, such as Disenchant. The math takes the full level into account, including modifications. If modifications did not affect magnitude, then why the need for a higher lab total or more vis? If Item Concentration and Uses are not added levels of magic power, then what are they?
Basically, in my view, it is a song and dance in an attempt to avoid Warping. The logical extensions of which open up a huge can of complication worms that the game does not benefit from.

But it makes a certain amount of sense that the base level of the effect is what is used for things like Warping, while the final/modified level is used for things like disenchanting (and space taken up in an item).

Why should an item that casts an effect 1x/day not cause Warping, while an item that casts the same effect 24x/day cause Warping? The same "amount" of magic is landing on the target if each is cast once.

It would also be dispelled at the base level of effect. The disenchant you mention, however, needs to eliminate the entire instilled effect including the modifiers, hence why it uses the final/modified level and not the base.

I think the system is long past being complex. No one area is a "hill to die on" in terms of adding or removing complexity. But point very well made on logically interpreting RAW.

But, if one were to PeVi the effect with Unraveling, would you also require the level of the spell match the level of the effect as it is enchanted into the item? Logic cuts two ways here. One can unravel an effect with a lot of penetration, when cast by a living caster pretty easily, so long as the levels line up. Penetration doesn't matter in the case of a spell cast by a caster when unraveling. When an item does it, the penetration ties into the final level of the effect as does uses per day, who can use it, fast trigger and perhaps other things that really don't have anything to do with the effect. So, such an understanding on warping, and tying things to the item effect level can have an effect in other areas, unraveling being the prime example Excluding item additions to final magnitude for the purposes of determining warping seems more than reasonable, because I would do it for pretty much everything.

I think it makes sense to exclude modifications such a Penetration or Triggers that do not come up in spell casting. One should certainly include any R/D/T modifications or pseudo-modifications, such as the constant effects rule.

Speaking of complexity, there's very little sense to the way the game hacks constant effects out of triggered Sun durations instead of just giving a cost for "Constant".

Careful there. They do not all take the full level into account. Only the ones dealing with the enchantment itself (lab total to make it, disenchanting it) do. Meanwhile the effects that deal with the spell itself ignore uses per day, penetration, etc. For example, if you put a MuVi effect in the same item, it only looks at the spell's level. Yes, that does show up in canon, and I think I can find a quote from David to back this up on top of it showing up in canon. Since the spell, not the uses per day, etc. is what affects someone, I would think Warping would be based on that (without uses per day, etc.).

Also, for a parallel, penetration doesn't matter at all when a spell is being dispelled, nor does it matter for Warping. So why would putting penetration in an enchantment work so differently.

My gut instinct is to say yes, I would require it. However, I would likely pass the buck over to a troupe ruling and go with that.
However, though I see your point about uses and warping, I disagree about the penetration bonus. This is extra power built directly into the effect and applies to every use. I can see that, perhaps, additional uses do not translate into more energy per effective use. But more Penetration and Item Concentration is indeed an effect of greater power.

It is only as complex as you choose to interpret it. I tend to favor ease and simplicity in almost every application. But almost is a word laden with hidden meaning. There are some complications I have embraced or even added that tweak my game as to keep it humming along. But in that spirit, I also avoid making rulings on things that have not and likely will not come up in that saga. Or at least the will not very often. It serves no utility to HR or quibble about something that may never happen or will only happen once or twice. As long as it doesn't derail the game, balance is not an issue for me.
And in that spirit, if this item effect level/magnitude issue ever came up in that saga, I would likely ignore it and just go with what everyone else felt comfortable with. I do favor making things easier and simple. So I would let it fly with the caveat that we do not need to explain or define why it flies. Sweep it under the carpet and keep going. Retcon latter only if needed.

I never said that they weren't of great power. But if you're going to suggest that Penetration, when put into an item counts, but penetration when it is cast a spell doesn't count for purposes of unraveling, then you've basically made it so that items become the preferred method to do combat. You don't want to master a spell anymore, you want to make an item and jam as much penetration into it as you can. Also, on high level spells like Ball of Abysmal Flame, if penetration and other item effects are used to determine the final level of the effect for unraveling purposes, you've basically made it untouchable for unraveling purposes once the level of the item effect (including item options) makes it above 60th level (I exclude the non botching stress die for this spell when determining what level of spells I want to reliably unravel). That's not simple, and it's certainly not easy, and just to tweak your nose a bit, it's not player friendly...