Talismans as weapons

If I make my weapon my talisman (I am a hybrid Ex Misc mage with good combat skills), I am wondering about using the weapon against Parma and MR. All of these questions presuppose that no active effect is on the talisman, though it is definitely an enchanted.

  1. Since it is enchanted, but as no effect on the weapon itself (like Edge of the Razor), is it still resisted by parma or MR?

  2. If a Verditius mage used the Items of Quality rules to make the weapon do more damage to humans (like you can from the shape and materials bonus), can you use this Weapon of Quality as a Talisman?

  3. If you yourself when making the Talisman (no weapon of quality here), during one of the seasons of enchantment add the "Harm humans" ability to the Talisman, how does that work against parma and MR.

  4. If you can use a Weapon of Quality from a Verditius mage, can you add again the same effect he "pulled" from the weapon during one of the seasons you enchant your talisman?


Always a matter for interpretation and certainly one which the longer-running members of this board have apparently argued to death (the dot on the sword debate). I would personally say that so long as no effect of the Talisman is active at the moment of the attack, it is for all intents and purposes a mundane object (so long as it isn't sustained materially by any necessary magic) and would ignore MR or Parma.

There is nothing in the core rules or the HoH:MC Verditius chapter that suggests you cannot further enchant an item of quality as a Greater or lesser enchanted device. Technically, I would add, there is nothing to even suggest that the Verditius could not avail him/herself of all the S/M bonusses of a particular form or substance even if one of its S/M bonuses had previously been raised to the surface by the Item of Quality mystery.

The latter ruling is purely subjective though and you might choose to rule that first making an item of quality precludes the use of any other S/M bonus contained in the object except the one previously raised to the surface. I can see the logic of that for more restrictve SGs.

Your question is rather unclear, but if I understand you correctly, you are asking what it means should (amongst any number of potential S/M bonuses contained in an object or material) the magus make use of the harm humans bonus in the enchantment process for one or more effects contained in the device?

If that is what you are asking then I would point out that use of S/M bonuses aside from the Item of Quality mystery itself merely adds the relevant + to the lab total for a given effect enchanted into that device, it does not imbue the device with that + as part of its essential nature for combat or casting applications. Only the Items of Quality mystery can make such a latent S/M bonus an external, usable feature of the object itself.

This question was answered prematurely in my response to question 1. I see no reason why it couldn't. It would not however increase the item of quality bonus (i.e. double it to +8 ), but only provide an addition to the lab total for any additional effect that "harmed humans" in the device.

Perrsonaly I would take this further and say as long as no effects are active that would effect the target consider it a mundane object. So if you have a spell on it that strengthens the metal (only use is preventing brakage) that wouldn't matter

Consider using said item on say a golem. Normally any object used against it would be bend/break rather than harm the being. Since your item is enchanted, this does not happen. Thus, I would argue that a reinforced item does affect the target...

Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I thought you can attune a S/M bonus of your talisman, whenever you work a season on it. Each time thereafter you cast a spell, the S/M bonus applies for, you can add the bonus to your casting total.

This is quite correct.

There I (and a fairly clear explanation of MR in the core rules) would disagree with you.

If there is even so much as an active effect targetting the object itself to imbue it with additional capabilities or to sustain its form in any way then it is considered a magical object...

  • page 85 of the core rules states:

"If the target of the spell (read: or effect) is a magical thing which then attempts to damage the maga (read: or other magical opponent with MR) the spell (or effect), works but the created thing is unable to affect the maga unless it penetrates her MR."

and again by way of example on pg 85 (for argument of similar principle):

"A normal rock turned into a large boulder by a Muto spell (read: or invested effect) bounces off her MR..."

" A large boulder turned into a pebble.... bounces off her MR..."

So by those examples, if ANY effect regardless of what it targets is active at the moment of striking, the Talisman would be deemed a magical object and bounce off any MR it could not penetrate.

One solution is simply enchant additional levels of penetration into any relevant "harm person" effects in the Talisman. At +2 levels Pen for every 1 level added to the effect, you could make quite a nasty magical killing machine if you have sufficient lab total to handle it.

Otherwise, just don't activate any effects and keep it a mundane attack.

You are quite right with respect to Talismans, Vetrenius. My bad.

Nonetheless, with respect to any other type of enchanted device, Greater or lesser or charged items, the prior externalisation of a single S/M bonus through the application of the Items of Quality mystery would not add to any casting totals. Generally speaking I read S/M bonuses as a means of increasing lab totals for purposes of instilling higher level effects (which then simply work when activated without requiring any casting total).

Talisman's are unique exceptions to that general rule I would argue since they are a part of the caster him/herself.

Edited to say: That said, the actual question of the original poster was what it would mean re: penetration and MR if one made use of a "harm humans" latent property of an object/material in the enchantment process without first making it a surface aspect of the Talisman by way of the IoQ mystery.

In the point you made, the only way such a bonus would apply would be to use it to cast a spell (apart from a physical attack of the object itself) such an attuned bonus would not have any bearing on any mundane physical attack with the talisman itself.

pg 98 (last para) of the Attunement section states:

"Bonuses from attunements apply only when the magus is touching the talisman and only the highest bonus applies. They apply to totals to cast Ritual, Formulaic and Spontaneous magic, but they do not apply to MR or any laboratory activities."

Ok, so returning to the initial questions...
I think BoXer answered them very well. Though I have to admit that question #3 was rather unclear. I would state:

This work against MR by adding its bonus to the casting total and thereby elevates your chances of successful penetration.

Just one thought: It may be risky to enchant a sword as your talisman and use it for fighting as blades can break when used intensively. Once this happens, all your enchantments and attunement are gone as are all pawns of vis used.
However, there are no rules for weapons breaking during a fight, so one might argue this happens seldom. I am inclined to agree. However, I am to afraid of it to risk my talisman that way. But that is a matter of style...

I would tend to agree with this, although for sword-fighting magi, the idea is indeed pretty cool and useful.

To my mind the real value of a talsiman is in the effects it can hold and the extension of touch range it offers to a magus with which to smite his foes. Bashing it physically against someone would I think invalidate even the best warranty any Verditius might offer on his craftsmanship :wink:

End of the day, with the addition of a mere 30 extra levels to your most devastating "harm person" effects you can get a +60 penetration. That should be sufficient to take down many a dragon let alone a magus (and dare say even many an archmagus) if you arent all too bothered to be marched afterward :wink:.

There are, in fact, rules on weapon breakage in a fight (mostly on botch rolls) in City & Guild, though they're very general rules.

One interesting part of the rules, however, is that hermetic items get the magnitude of effects enchanted into them added to their durability. For most items, this is a nice bonus... for talismans, with a large enough number of effects instilled, this bonus can easily get up to the 'this can only be destroyed by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom' level.

Until said talisman is stolen and systematically disenchanted by a vengeful Perdo specialist. :wink: