My 4th ed saga will be drawing to a close before the distant future. I'm thinking I might make a Verditius for my first 5th ed character. This is partly as a challenge to myself; my friend Brian and I tend to agree that items were rather weak in 4th ed.
In any event, I have a few different questions about Verditius. Some are rules clarifications, some are for advice.
I see that Verditius get a few advantages that are unique to their house. I want to make sure I understand them correctly:
- They get a lab total bonus equal to their craft score, if the item involves the appropriate craft and the Magus uses raw materials.
- The entire section of the 'gem-in-the-latticework' section is confusing to me. From what I can tell, it means this: If you make an invested item or talisman that can't normally be made without magic (gem-in-the-latticework, a moebius strip, a 3-sided square), you get a bonus to the lab total equal to your philosophiaea? Or do you always get that bonus, as long as it's thematically (shape/form) appropriate and it's an invested device or talisman, not a charged item or lesser device? (essentially, it only applies on items that need to be opened for attunement).
- If you do the steps necessary to get a bonus from #2, you also pay 1 less pawn of vis per craft score (minimum 1 vis) when opening the item for attunement.
Is it possible for a Magus to enjoy all three of these for one item? Am I correct that 2 and 3 only work for invested devices and talismans? Have I totally missed the mark in terms of what a Verditius needs to do in order to get the bonuses for 2 and 3? Also, this says 'raw materials only.' I assume that means if my Verditius buys a sword from a blacksmith and then opens it, he can't get the craft bonsu to the lab total?
Feel free to answer the above in whatever format you like. It's hard to ask in simple questions given the complexity of the text. Sorry .
Does Free Expression add to lab total if the Magus is making an artistic magic item? (A painting that shows a distant land, a fountain that purifes any water poured into it, etc).
Now, some strategy questions. I'm wondering what Arts are likely to be in demand from Veriditus, both for items they make for themselves and those for sale.
I remember a quote from Houses of Hermes: "Verditius Magi have the same varied interests as other Magi: They can be air wizards, beast mages, necromancers, and so on."
How much does this apply in 5th ed (if it ever did?) Do Verditius Magi naturally tend towards any arts over any other? I'd imagine that if nothing else, they tend to prize Vim since they work with enchantments. If nothing else, Creo Vim gives them Vim vis for openings.
Aquam Verditius, i should think, are fairly rare... no one wakes up and says "Gracious, I need an aquam device."
From what I can tell, of the techniques, Intelligo might be prized since devices are good for analysis and extrasensories. Rego could be in demand due to ward devices and traps as well. For the Forms, I'm at a loss.. Imaginem, for perceptions? Corpus, if only because it's a very common technique? (Then again, it's so common that few people are decicient in it). Perhaps Terram to work with materials?
I'm leaning slightly towards Intelligo, Rego, Corpus, Terram... but other than that, more or less at a loss. I know I can make whatever character I like, I'm just totally unsure what Verdtiius commonly go for.
One assumption (which may be flawed) that I'm making is that there doesn't necessarily have to be a matchup between the Craft skills and a Mage's arts. It's perfectly normal for a Mage to have a high Animal but no Leatherworking. Conversely, I assume it's ok for a Verditius to have Craft (carpentry) but no Herbam.
New question: In general, are items more or less cost-efficient with penetration than spells? I don't know whether it's logical or foolish to make an item intended to penetrate as opposed to a spell for the same purpose. "You made a combat item. Sweet, that'll be much handier than hoping a spell gets through." Or, "You fool, why make an item when it's much easier to get a spell through penetration?" This last might just be my newness with AM5 combined with not quite figuring out the math.
I'm also wondering whether Veridtius gimp themselves by generalizing (or specializing!) with respect to Arts. On the one hand, a low Art combination means it takes longer to make stuff, you get less charged items, etc. On the other hand, Verditius Magi alone can supplement that with craft scores.
I should also back up my statements about 'items being weak.' Here's what I've observed. These aren't points I hold dearly; rather they're points I'd be very happy to see get nullified with better arguments washing them away.
- Making spells doesn't require vis. Items do. The time investment is otherwise similar.
- Any item you can make, you can make as a spell.
- Items (might) have lower penetrations than spells--again, this is due to my not quite getting the practice of 5e Penetration.
- A beneficial spell (healing, extra speed, whatnot) might use range: Personal, but the item would need Touch range.
It seems like the best use of Items are for items that you make for others--grogs, other Magi, etc. Or, if they're for spells that might be on the upper range of your ability to cast without fatiguing yourself. I do, however, love charged items and lesser devices
I also think a great use for items in 4e was nullified in 5e: Subtlety. Items are good for innocous effects--simply twiddle a ring around or rub two coins together, and you can give someone a heart attack, create a compelling illusion, or turn a cooked pheasant into a live, angry snake. With the removal of Reach and Near, it seems much harder to use an item to affect your general vicinity. Using items as 'sneak spells' is much harder: Unless you can make do with touch (item affects you), eye contact, or have the lab total to do Sight, it's much harder to use items to function as a spy. No sense Perdo-ing the kings chair if you have to use Voice range to do it, after all.
Do please knock down the above points. I want to be convinced that items are much, much better than I'm giving them credit for. I want to be disagreed with and shown the areas I'm overlooking.
To summarize, my main questions are:
- What advantages are unique to Verditius and how do they reap those advantages?
- What Arts are more useful to a Verdtiius than they would be to an 'average' Magus without a pre-defined specialty?
- Show me why items are much better than I thought they are .
Forum etiquette question: For my future reference, should really long question posts such as this be split into multiple topics, or all lumped together?
Advice and insight will be greatly appreciated .