I'm a bit confused as to how to treat the use of a enchanted device within a foreign aegis. The AoH says they will be resisted. Since the device is created with a lab total and not a casting total how is this done? Or do they not work all together?
I lean toward the device needing the power to penetrate the Aegis, which can be built into the device.
There are many was to interpret that statement within the description of the Aegis:
- Strict interpretation: The item needs to generate a non-negative Penetration in order to work within the Aegis. Since the Aegis will substract half its level from the item<s Penetration, this means you have to build in quite a bit of Penetration bonus if you want your items to work in a foreign Aegis.
- Mid-road interpretation: The effect (or enchantment) level needs to be higher than the level (or half the level) of the Aegis to work. Built-in Penetration is added to the effect level when determining this. The Troupe decides the exact rule on this.
- Lenient interpretation: The effect always works, but has a negative Penetration (because of the Aegis) unless some was built into it. This means the effect will still work on mundanes, but that any magus will have an easy time resisting the effect.
There are more possible interpretations, but I think those are the main ones. RAW is pretty vague about this, unfortunately.
There's also another one...
- Strictest: The item doesn't work because it wasn't within the Aegis at casting time or created within the Aegis by someone who participated in the Aegis ritual or had a casting token.
I've seen that one, too. Which effectively nerfs House of Verditius and their vendettas and Wizard's Wars against each other, IMO.
It is a fuzzy point. My starting point is "Hostile or Passive". If I cast a armoring spell that lasts for a month, it doesn't drop because I've entered a hostile Aegis, right? Now, if I try to case a "Finger of Death" spell, I'm going to need penetration to affect someone, even if my spell lasts for a month. Now, if we treat magic items as "pre-cast spells", things should work the same way, with the penetration being built into the item, with no penetration needed for those who want the effect, much like the handwaveum we do with casting spells on people with parma.
You can also extrapolate that anyone with a "casting token"/part of the Aegis casting can use any items freely within an Aegis, given that magic items are such a big part of Covenant creation, and no such problem is discussed (many canon examples of helpful items for covenants, such as the bug killing box, but none with a penetration number.).
now we come to a confusing sentence in the AoH description.
The Aegis is also able to block foreign Intellego spells, even if they can not normally be blocked by Param Magica, and spells that were cast before they entered the Aegis, such as invisibility spell cast on a magus outside the Aegis
By this reading, if your spell can not penetrate a foreign Aegis, it goes away.
Also kind of confusing. i read that as the item was part of the Aegis at the casting. So a enchanted device that is brought to a Covenant would not work until it was included in a Aegis casting ( unless it had the penetration).
Yes, Jebrick, but it doesn't actually say that, which is why I went with the hostile/passive break. Aegis seems to stop all hostile magic (which includes Intellego and other indirect means of spying such as invisibility) but does not seem to stop all magic. More Art then science, a judgement call.
As to the magic items, given how important the magic item trade is to house Verditius, you would think the issue would have come up in their section of "Houses of Hermes, Mystery Cults", so I don't think it's a complex problem.
I personally think you are reaching with that interpretation as it is not clear but, it is not clear.
Definitely not clear, I think deliberately so. The designers have, on this board, said several times that they have left many things fuzzy, so as not to railroad a campaign, which is otherwise quite possible, as we have seen with the "red dot" silliness. I think my view is correct, but your game can easily have a different view. I think the most important thing is not what you decide to do, but that you let your players know before it comes up in game.......
As you note, the rules for the Aegis note that an Aegis resists "effects from enchanted devices" (ArM5, page 161) (unless the item was within the Aegis at Casting time, or created by someone with a token, etc). This is fairly clear for item effects that originate outside the Aegis; it simply means that if the particular effect has insufficient penetration to Penetrate the Resistance of the Aegis, then it fails. The penetration of the item effect was determined when the item was made (modifed by the local aura).
The tricky bit is foreign items that are within the Aegis when activated.
I think that the cleanest read is to treat the item effect like a supernatural power of a creature, and that "penetrating" the Aegis only applies to effects that must cross the Aegis boundary. So, an item that is activated (and targets something) within the Aegis has its Penetration Total reduced by half the Aegis level (exactly like a creature power). Whether this reduced Penetration Total is now sufficient, depends on the Magic Resistence of the target. If the target was a grog (with no Magic Resistance) then it will still go off regardless, if the target is a magus with an active Parma Magica, etc, then the effect may fizzle if the new Penetration is insufficient to overcome his Magic Resistance. You don't need to additionally Penetrate the Aegis, because the item is already inside the Aegis.
By RAW, the armouring spell does fizzle, as you enter the hostile Aegis. If its Peneration is insufficient to defeat the Aegis.
However, you may recast the armouring spell once you are on the inside of the hostile Aegis; assuming that your Casting Total (penalized by half the Aegis level) is now sufficient to cast the spell.
This reading is corroborated by the position of "Penetration totals for magical creatures are reduced by the same amount" immediate before the paragraph with "Effects from enchanted devices are resisted by the Aegis unless ..." - so that the latter's "resisted" (by itself unprecise) can be read to just refer back to the preceding paragraph.
The item doesn't work at all unless it meets one of those criteria. I suppose I am the strictest strict one for a change!
I do grant a little leeway though. The item may function if wielded by someone who participated in the Aegis ritual or is in possession of a token.
Even by the strictest strict interpretation, there are loopholes that exploited in a vicious vendetta. You can have an agent (spy) smuggle one or more items into a covenant they are visiting or betraying. Hide them. A year or two later, you visit your rival bearing a false olive branch. You are given Hospitality, you dig up the hidden cache of your dual high penetration of death and fire and your slippers of speed and whatever. There's nothing they can do about it (suckers )
That's your reading of "resisted"?
So nobody can charge you of "resisting arrest" unless you haven't been arrested, yes?
I would like Atlas to clear up that sentience I quoted. Too many commas to be totally clear. I understand how Saxonous got his interpretation even though I disagree with it.
I followed this one initially as well. It could be said that if you got items MADE by a person possessing a token in the Aegis that they would work. But that did not make much sense as it seems to read that they must be a part of the casting meaning that particular casting not one 10 years ago.
Your example would work without getting the token as the items were within the Aegis at the time of casting so they do not need to resist.
It is so much less of a logistical exercise than to say that if the device has sufficient penetration to the Aegis, it works.