The Wizards' Argos Catalogue (formerly 30 Days of Enchanted Items)

I'm late, I'm late!


Better that than never.

So, here are 30 Enchanted, and hopefully enchanting, items for November. Whilst each only contains a single effect, I've written them so that they could be (hopefully) made as invested or simple items.

Since I've only been playing ArM5 for a year, and am...not the world's greatest mathematician, any and all constructive criticism is gratefully accepted.

All form and material bonuses are drawn from the 5th ed Corebook and HoH: Mystery Cults, as those are what I have access too.

So, with as little further ado as possible:

  1. The Old Olive:

Cr(Re)Im(Te) 50

(Base 3, 0 Per, +2 Sun, +3 Str, +1 Stone, +1 Req, +3 Complexity, +1 (2 Uses/Env Trigger))

An intricately carved marble and granite olive tree that appears to rustle and sway in an unseen breeze. Lizards and mice can sometimes be seen to run across the trunk, birds of various types to sing from the branches, cicadas heard to play in the evening light. The Rego Terram component both moves the intricately jointed branches and prevents them from shattering under their own weight.

(Marble: +3 Beauty, Granite: +3 Terram; Hard Stone: 4 base points, Large: x4, for a total of 16 vis slots)

This is was made as a masterwork for a small Ex Misc Mystery Cult, hence existed at the boundaries of its maker's capabilities at the time, though he claims that the lack of pen was an artistic statement.

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  1. Towermaker:

Re(Mu)Te 50

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Conc/+1 Item Concs, +2 Group, +1 Size, +1 Stone, +1 Req, +2 Complexity, +1 24 Uses)

A 35ft diameter bronze ring engraved with depictions of hammers and chisels. Rocks thrown into the ring are liquified and extruded beneath it to form a 35ft diameter stone tower (with windows, walls, floors, stairs etc. according to a standard per floor pattern). Of course, the device has to be both continually fed and then retrieved from the top of the tower it has built beneath its-self. It is also notoriously difficult to stop in the right place, often leading to awkwardly shallow top floors.

(Bronze: +3 Terram, Small Hammer: +2 Building, Mason's Chisel: +2 Shape Stone, Ring: +2 Constant Effect: Base Metal: 5 base points, Massive x5, for a total of 25 vis slots)

Another masterwork for the same Ex Miscs as above; the mage who made it (a tremendous egotist) had to rebuild his lab around the project, then tear the building down to extract the finished item.

[I liked the idea of a Hermetic 3D printer, but of all the devices I've come up with, this one feels as if it has the least grounding in the rules, especially where range is concerned.]

  1. Lion's Roar:

ReMe 45

(Base 10, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 Size, 0 Single Use/day)

A great, gilded, brass trumpet whose bell is a topaz eyed lion's head. All who hear its blast know not fear until the setting of the sun.

(Topaz: +4 Leadership/+4 Strength, Courage and Pride [pick one], Lion's Mane: +5 Strength, Courage and Pride; Semi-Precious Stone: 12 base points. Taking the whole thing into account, the size is Medium (x3), but an argument could be made for Tiny (x1) as well, depending on how merciful your SG is feeling. Maximum of either 36 or 12 vis slots, therefore.)

  1. The Doors of Perception:

In(Cr)Me(Im) 50

(Base 25, +1 Touch, +1 Conc/+1 Item concs, 0 Ind, +1 Complexity, +1 Requisite, 0 Single Use/day)

A perfectly clear glass pane held in a walnut frame and concealed by shutters of orange wood carved in the Moorish fashion, this Criamon training tool shows its user nothing more or less than their own self-perception. Meditating upon the differences between this and the true reflection (and on which is actually the true reflection) is thought to enhance understanding of the Enigma

(Clear Glass: +5 Seeing Through Something, Walnut: +4 Mind, Orange: +5 Sight: Wood: 2 base points, Medium or greater (x3-x5) for a total of 6-10 depending on how big your MT/ego is!).

In this case, absence of the ability to penetrate is part of the experience; the mage using this device has to drop their PM and deal with the world (and other magi) as it really is (so saith adherents to the Doors, other magi, preferring not to consider themselves untrustworthy and sinister, may disagree)

  1. The Guilty Torch

In(Cr)Co(Ig) 60

(Base 5, +3 Sight, +1 Conc/+1 Item concs, +2 Group, +1 Req, +1 Fancy Effect, +2 Unlimited uses)

A relic of the Guernicus, this torch, as tall as a man, burns with the black flame that is its forgotten maker's sigil. Any blood or bodily fluid within its light's touch assumes a ghostly glow of hue according to its humour. Electrum inlaid in the Torch's long chestnut wood haft minutely relates the deed of Guernicus' vengeance, and a handy brass spike at its base can be buried in soil and men alike.

(Chestnut: +3 Justice/+4 Honesty [pick one], Electrum: +3 Scrying, Brass; +3 Ignem: Base Metal: 5 base points, Large x4, for a total of 20 vis slots.)

[Hermetic luminol turns out to be really sinister.]

  1. A White Horse

PeMe 40

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Conc/+1 Item Concs, 0 Ind, +2 Pen, +2 Unlimited uses)

A small toy horse carved from walnut wood, skillfully painted white with red and gold tack, Calista of Jerbiton fashioned this for her inconsolably homesick apprentice. The effect, triggered by its holder’s tears, eliminates senses of loneliness and isolation. Passed both from parens to filia and between apprentices, the White Horse has traveled far from its Theban birthplace, siring many copies along the way.

(Toy: +4 Control Children, Walnut: +4 Mind; Wood: 2 base points, Small x2, for a total of 4 vis slots)

  1. Lady Aelinor's Rosary

InCo 50

(Base 5, +4 Arc, +1 Mom, 0 Ind, +2 Pen, +2 Infinite Uses)

Made by Aelinor of Mercere to salve her worries over the Redcaps under her direction in the Normandy Tribunal. Each bead of baltic amber, carved with such pious signs as palmer’s shells, hourglasses, and church bells, contains an arcane connection to a single person. Beads are activated by praying the Hail Mary whilst held in hand, and give a general impression of their target’s current health and whether or not they are in danger. Lady Aelinor was known as a woman of faith and prayer in her lifetime, oft seen with rosary in hand, and well beloved by Normandy’s Redcaps.

(Amber: +3 Corpus, Clam Shell: +2 Protection, Hourglass: +7 Alarms, Bell: +5 Warnings; Semi-precious gem: 12 base points, Tiny x1, for a total of 12 vis slots per bead)

[Not sure about the base on this item, and it probably ought to have a linked trigger so only Mercere can use it. Also pretty sure the rosary breaches the Code in terms of scrying, but I wouldn't want to be the Guernicus who tried to prosecute this case.]

  1. A Salt-Stained Bridle

MuAq(An) 52

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +1 Req, +2 Unnatural Creature, (+2) 2 Uses/day)

A horsehide bridle, tooled with images of seashells and horseshoes, whose noseband is studded with jade. Dipping the bridle into a sufficiently large body of water (the sea is advisable) and clicking your tongue brings forth a horse with a coat the same colour as the water which sired it. This is not at all a natural animal -its mane is forever damp, its coat shimmers with minute scales, and it may walk as smoothly across waves as solid land- therefore it suffers no ill effect from the Gift. Riders must, however, provide their own equestrian skill and their own saddle, though the Bridle’s Merinita maker prefered to go bareback.

(Animal Hide: +7 turn into appropriate animal, Sea Shell: +2 the sea, Horseshoe: +6 affect horse’s movement, Jade: +4 Aquam; Precious stone: 15 base points, Tiny x1, for a total of 12 vis slots)

[Both the stats for the sea-horse and how hard it is to handle ought be at the discretion of the SG; the writer suggests that wilder bodies of water produce faster, more tempestuous, mounts.]

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[Someone on my groupchat complained that all my items so far had been high level. Challenge accepted.]

  1. The Turncote

MuIm 5

(Base 1, 0 Per, +2 Conc/Item Concentrates, 0 Ind, +2 Unlimited Uses)

A popular item amongst conceited apprentices of all houses and oft used to indicate its wearer's team in Flambeau melees. The Turncote, sometimes more charitably named the Cote of Many Colours, is a cote of whatever cut was fashionable in its day, whose colour and apparent fabric can be changed merely by turning it inside out.

(Clothing: +4 Transform Self; Cloth: 1 base point, Medium Ă—3, for a total of 3 vis slots, though why anyone would make this as an invested item is another question entirely.)

[A finesse roll may be necessary for elaborate patterns. Botches produce sackcloth or nauseating hues!]

  1. The Screaming Cube

CrIm 8

(Base 1, 0 Per, +2 Sun, 0 Ind, +1 Complexity, (+1) 2 Uses, (+3) Env Trigger)

"Well, it's a cube that ivory, bone, tooth enamel? It's a polished cube of something dull white and far too biological for comfort, that wails continuously in a disconcertingly realistic fashion. Why make such an item? You'd have to ask Horace von Verditius, seeing as it's his work."

(Literally nothing in this device gives any relevant bonus; Bone: 3 base points, Small x2, for a total of 6 vis slots)

[Since this would be a very good way to tell if someone had torn down your Parma, Horace may be much less eccentric than he is generally given credit.]

  1. A Pair of Fleece Lined Boots

CrIg 5

(Base 2, 0 Per, +2 Sun, +1 2 Uses)

Oana of Tremere made these as an apology to her Moorish husband when her house required their re-assignment to Smolensk. Very young at the time and never much good at Ignem, a little additional warmth was the best she could produce but was gratefully received nonetheless. The boots themselves are finely made of well-oiled leather, lined with lambswool, and embossed with images of burning braziers.

(Hearth: +7 create fire and heat; Leather: 2 base points, Medium x3, for a total of 6 vis slots. It would be a very profligate magus, however, who chose to make a 1st magnitude enchantment as an invested item)

I had a couple of shit days and have consequently fallen a bit behind so there ought to be two up this evening.

  1. A Toast To My Foes

ReAn 5

(Base 1, 0 Per, +2 conc/item concentrates, 0 Ind, +2 Unlimited Uses)

A very large drinking horn indeed, into every inch of whose surface, from silver rim to iron tip, a design of interwoven spirals has been carved. This is the property of Ludovic of Tytalus and his first enchanted item since the curse that burdened him with palsied hands. Once set on its point it cannot be knocked over.

(No relevant materials bonuses; Silver: 6 base points, Small x2, for a total of 12 vis slots)

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[Aaaand I fell asleep before I could post this one!]

  1. Just A Jar

Pe(Re)He(Aq) 5

(Base 3, +1 Touch, 0 Mom, +1 Req, 0 Ind, 0 1 Use/day)

Another popular enchantment with apprentices, especially those whose masters are inclined to asceticism, this device has no fixed appearance. In the Frankish tribunals it might be a wicker wrapped demijohn, in Thebes an oinochoe painted with mythic scenes, in the Rhine a plain waterskin. What these various vessels hold in common is that the juice of apples or grapes, or any other fruit, poured into them will be fermented into a crude alcohol when the item is activated (triggers vary, but shaking the vessel or proposing a toast are both quite popular). Unwary and unskilled apprentices sometimes create enchantments that produce vinegar instead.

(Container: +5 create or transform within; Either Leather: 2 base points, or Soft Stone: 3 base points, Medium x3, for a total of either 6 or 9 vis slots. Finesse + Stress die, target of 15 to actually get nice booze, failure produces anything ranging from bad wine to vinegar, botching might produce a poison modern medicine recognises as methanol!)

[Not entirely sure how to approach this idea; it all rather hinges on the extent to which medieval thought understood what fermentation entails]

[Edited in line with recommendations from Argentius and others; now has a Re req and a finesse roll for success]

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Using perdo to ferment is a really interesting idea.

While I can't attest to what the general knowledge of how fermentation worked was in the 13th century it was the period during which distillation was introduced to Europe (via alchemical texts from the Muslim world). So it's not implausible that there is a lab text floating around for a spell like this that was designed by some vintner-alchemist in Thebes or the Levant who would have had enough knowledge to have the idea and research it.

Should it maybe have an element of craft magic? The user has to make a finesse roll to, for example, shake the vessel just right to get something drinkable, otherwise he ends up with vinegar. Sounds like a fun party game for apprentices.

Probably does need a Re req, our game's GM certainly ruled that way; I've edited in line with recommendations. I don't GM as a rule because I suck at improvising new plans on the fly, so I have no idea what an appropriate ease factor for a finesse roll to make booze would be; Finesse + Stress die with a target of 6, botch and you get a blinding poison?

[Runs in screaming, throws item and runs out, still screaming]

  1. An Ornate Stridule

PeCo 5

(Base 3, +1 Touch, 0 Mom, 0 Ind, +1 2 Uses/day)

A ritual tool of the Miscellanean Maa-Kheru, skilled necromancers and theurgists who claim to follow the ancient mystic traditions of Egypt. In accordance with the practices of their ancestors these magi maintain a state of ritual purity that requires total cleanliness, including the removal of all bodily hair. Hence the bronze stridule each carries at his belt, oft decorated with turquoise scarabs, ivory skulls, and other like symbols of his magics. Run over oiled skin, morning and night, these excise not only the day's filth but also obliterate all hair in their path.

Of course, since both cursing and necromancy lean heavily on the Arcane Connection, a mage who does not habitually shed these is somewhat at an advantage.

(Turquoise: +4 Necromancy, Ivory: +5 Healing, Human Skull: +4 Destroy Human Body; Semi-Precious Stone: 12 base points, Tiny Ă—1, for a total of 12 vis slots)

[I may or may not have been watching The Mummy when I wrote this]

The relevant rules are the rego craft magic rules. The best version of those is in Houses of Hermes: Societates around page 60. The difficulty is based on the time that would be needed for a mundane craftsman to make the thing, so for most alcohol that's a season. That gives a target of 15 to make average quality alcohol instantly, with up to a +3 bonus if you are familiar with the mundane process.

Failing craft magic doesn't make it useless just lower quality (sour wine down to vinegar depending on how bad the fail). Making nice things with magic is hard.

I expect Hermetic apprentices are about as discriminating in their drinking choices as most university students...

(I need to actually read the Societes book at some point.)

I would imagine most apprentices would be more concerned with the potency than the taste, which has been the case with students since the dawn of time I'm fairly sure.

They probably have great fun watching someone who messes up the finesse roll trying to chug a wineskin full of highly alcoholic vinegar.

  1. The Avaunt-Sol

Cr(Re)Au 30

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, 0 Ind, +1 Req, +4 Wholly Un-natural, 0 1 Use/day)

At first glance, a walking stick in the style common amongst Greek priests, albeit one composed of strangely burnt wood with a cabochon of pale grey agate set into its top. The iron ferrule too proves somewhat unusual upon closer inspection, taking the form of a gauntleted hand raising a shield as if to parry arrows. Were one to turn the staff upside down, however, and comment upon the brightness of the day then one might find a small (pace diameter) yet dense cloud forming above the ferrule. This is more than sufficient to keep the sun off, as its sunburn prone Jerbiton maker intended, though the cloud may sometimes rain or thunder in sympathy with the ambient weather.

(Lightning Struck Wood: +2 Auram, Agate: +3 Air, Glove: +4 Effects At Touch, Shield: +5 Protection; Semi-Precious Stone: 12 base points, Tiny Ă—1, for a total of 12 vis slots)

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