Thoughts on a Talisman

Hello everyone

I'm designing a Talisman for an NPC character, and would like some comments on it both regarding mechanics (shape & material bonuses) and some alternative design ideas.

The item is for a Terram-specialist Magus, with a Magic Theory of 4 - Hermetic age max 10 years.
Originally i was going for a large metal hammer, but since this might be a bit too cliche (and might be outside the scope of Magic Theory 4) the concept is now based on a staff with metal bands/handle/pommel/tip etc.

Wooden Staff (wood 2 x size 4 = 8 pawns)
Metal feature (base metal 5 x size 1)

Possible attunements:
Shape: Staff (+4 control/destroy things at a distance, +3 project bolt or other missile, +2 repel things)
Material: Wood (by type e.g. Blackthorn/Chestnut/Hickory/Hornbeam/Lilac/Orange etc.)
Material: Metal [Magnet] (+4 Rego Terram, +4 Rego Corpus, +2 Rego)
Material: Metal [Mercury] (+3 Terram, +5 Muto, +3 Aquam, +3 arts&sciences, +2 alter complex matter)

For obvious reasons the two metal materials are of interest to the character, but are they appropriate?
Are they both considered base metals? Can they be used as metal bands around the staff despite their magnetic and liquid forms?
Is there a more elegant/fun way to integrate one of these materials (if not I'll just use some other ones - plenty of good options for Terram boost)?

The Magus uses his Talisman as a 'Great Weapon' when he resorts to melee combat.
But as stated (by other users) in previous threads, some players worry about the safety of their Talisman, if constantly stressed, dented etc.
But by just enchanting the staff part, the Terram-Specialist can add a separate 'head' to the staff and use this head to take most of the beating.
This approach would also make the weapon more flexible, as the head of an Axe might make it better at cutting down trees/doors, while the head of a hammer would be good for breaking things/creatures with resistance to cuts. The smaller head of a spear might be the faster/lighter choice, possibly with an option to set for a charge.

There are some issues and drawbacks though.
Can the weapons truly change type just by changing the head (Warhammers are not excactly Quarterstaffs with a heavy heads are they?)
If the answer to the above is 'yes', remember that the character does not get to add his speciality (to more than one specific weapon type).
If each head is made and attached by mundane methods, will this actually hold?
Are sufficient mundane methods for attaching these heads, e.g. a thread, invented i mideviel times?
Alternately, if the heads are created through the use of magic, penetration will become very important (although i guess such a spell would be of a pretty low spell level anyway).

I like the idea of being able to magically fling a 'head' at an opponent as a ranged attack.
Being able to detach the heads has other advantages as well, e.g. if an opponent is immune to metal weapons.

All comments are welcome!

Magi of Hermes , page 32:

Vulcan's Favour
CrTe 29
R: Per , D: Sun , T: Ind
Pen +0 , Constant Effect

Constantly repairs the enchanted item , extending the item's life and returning it to usefulness.
The item always seems brand new.
(Base 15 , +2 Sun , +1 2/day , +3 environmental trigger: sunrise/sunset)

ArM5 p 97 "However, any effect that relies on the attachment of gem and staff for a bonus is permanently lost if the two are separated."

I would say a talisman is always magic and will be blocked by MR. OTOH, the talisman extents your Touch range. So you'll want some mundane blades unaffected by MR and some magical blades for Touch. You may want some CrTe effects for the magical blades and one MuTe effect to shrink whatever mundane head you nail to it.

  • one ReTe effect to fuse/release the mundane head
  • one MuTe effect to shrink/hide the mundane head
  • some CrTe effect to create different magical heads

Thanks - a book i have yet to get my hands on!
This power would be a nice addition to my Talisman, had i chosen the Metal/Stone hammer version.
And the spell would fall nicely into my Magus' speciality.
It will do no good for the staff though (and i dont have the lab total for a Herbam one).
I might still go for the 'attaching heads' idea - and just repair these on the fly.

I'm quite aware of this. That's why there were no possible attunements listed, that related to any of the materials or shapes of any heads. As a compound item -including a fixed head - i could have attunements for Warhammer Shape, or Granite Material - but i choose to forgo these in the design favouring flexibility.

Not an expert on Magic Resistance, i would thinkt it irrelevant whether things are considered 'magic' or not. A Magus is probably always 'magic', a dragon is 'magic' for sure, yet these do not in themselves trigger MR (only their spells and powers do). What is important is the question: 'is the item/being currently effected by magic'? Under normal circumstances (no spells or powers currently affecting it per se), i would rule 'No - the Talisman is not subject to MR'. Unless you include a spell that ensures ongoing magic (see the above-mentioned auto repair spell), that is - if so then the Talisman should be blocked by MR at all times IMO.

As i said, I'm not a veteran of MR issues, and i don't have any books on me right now... but i seem to recall several officially printed Magi who use their Talismans as weapons as well. There is a Perdo specialist in the Rhine Tribunal that uses his enchanted dagger for one - and Darius of flambeu from the core rolebook has actually enchanted the staff end of his Long spear as his Talisman. Now i might be wrong about Talismans and MR, but would they be? :wink:

I completely agree. Most of this could probably be sponted. Since the magic heads are not used on opponents with MR, penetration is not an issue.

Thanks for the comments btw!

Only if he is under the effects of a Longevity Potion or something that has a continuous magical effect.
Having no Might Score , a magus does not count as 'magical' normally.

the number of pawns you can put on your talisman has nothing to see with material and size, as you can put your greater technique+your greater form pawn, in one season you can open twice your magic theory;

I'm not quite sure I'm getting what you're trying to say here - but if i do, i believe is disagree :slight_smile:
I do realize that a Talisman is not limited by shape & material in the number of pawns it can hold after being attuned as a Talisman. But since i have to prepare the item for enchantment before attuning it as a talisman, i assume that i have to (initially) follow the standard rules for invested items. Later on i can add more pawns, yes, if my highest tech.+form total exceeds the number of pawns currently in the item.

Did you care to read the rest of the section, let alone finish the sentence? I was making excactly that point. Please reread from the OP and find that i do not believe a Talisman (or a Magus for taht matter) in itself is under the effect of continous Magic and thus triggers MR. I recieved a comment above stating that since a Talisman 'is magical', it triggers MR. My reply is then that:

So I believe the two of us completely agree.

A dragon has MM : ramming, clawing and biting will trigger MR.

I agree with the rest of your post. Being a talisman is a mere pink dot that does not affect your weapon's martial function.