Verditius Runes

It has been drawn to my attention that the paragraph about Verditius Runes on page 93 of ArM5 is not as clear as it could be.

My belief is that the intent is as follows:

  • Verditius Runes are automatically added to an item that a Verditius magus crafts for enchantment, whether mundanely (first paragraph), or a bit magically (second paragraph). I suppose he could deliberately decide not to.

  • Verditius Runes are a bonus to the existing Shape and Material bonuses of the object. They only apply to effects that the item already gets a bonus for.

Does that sound right to people? If so, I will draft a revision to make things clear. If not, we will have a discussion about what it should say.


Agreed to the first point.
The current text is a bit unclear if the Verditius runes would only apply if the item is magically crafted, or if they would apply in both cases. My reading was that it would apply in both cases, with the consequence that Verditius Runes can be used for all kinds of enchanted items, not only invested items (as would have been the case if it only applied to magically crafted items (second paragraph) since those are crafted when the item is opened for enchantment).

Your second point is interesting.
They way I have already read it is that Verditius Runes add to the existing Shape&Material bonus (capped by Magic Theory), even if the existing S&M bonus is zero. So even if no regular S&M bonus is there, a Verditius mage would always add the bonus for Verditius Runes to their Lab Total, making the regular S&M bonus relatively unimportant for a Verditius mage with a high Philosophiae score.
But if you need a regular S&M bonus to start with, it suddenly becomes more important to get some kind of S&M bonus even regardless of if the bonus is small or large.

Yes. But isn't that a good thing?
I means you cant just enchant silver rings for everything but actually have to think about how to design your device :slight_smile:

Haven't quite decided if I think it is a good or bad idea, but I do believe it would be a change of the rules.

Point 1:

That is at odds with at least one thing. That first paragraph says nothing about mundanely creating the item. If we're extending this to any item made from raw materials, it ought to apply to items made by Rego craft magic. So Verditius magi should love Rego craft magic rather than it not being the better thing for them.

On this, are you saying that if I can whittle a wand a day, I could provide 10 wands a season to other magi with potentially enormous Verditius Rune bonuses at essentially not cost to myself?

Third, if this is the intent, the English is problematic. The third paragraph says, "creating such items." So it definitely refers to the prior paragraph. It might refer to the one before it. Let's say it does. What are "such items" in the first paragraph. They are items where the Verditius "incorporate[s] craft abilities into their magic," and this includes "charged items and talismans, as well as to standard enchanted items and lesser enchanted devices." The paragraph isn't actually talking about doing some random whittling that may happen to be used by someone else at some point later.

Second point:

I'd always interpreted it as essentially the opposite, though not quite. Verditius Runes don't really help you reach 2xMT in general. What they do is help you reach it without needing just the right S&M bonuses, so you can use whatever thing you want (flexibility on way), or let you reach it with various disconnected effects in the same device (different flexibility for items opened to enchantment).

Mathematically, this is in addition to the already-provided S&M bonus, not an increase to the S&M bonus. As it's not increasing what was there, but adding separately to what was there, starting with no S&M bonus should be fine. This is written very different from something like a living tree or dedicated vis or purification, where the change is applied to the existing S&M bonus.


Personally it seems at odds with the idea of runes to require a pre-existing S&M bonus above 0. Runes carve on a random rock should be just as potent as runes carved on a symbolically significant material.

The first paragraph talks about making the item, and about having a relevant Craft ability.
While the text is not as clear as it could be, the obvious interpretation is that the Verditius mage is (mundanely) crafting the item using his Craft ability, and that this is what lets him add his Craft ability to the Lab Total.
Rego Craft Magic would then not be very popular with Verditius magic, since using that should not let them add their Craft ability to the Lab Total. (Plus, they like crafting the items with their own hands. Rego Craft magic would probably feel like cheating.)

As for crafting items with Verditius runes for others, it seems clear this is possible, but since they make the items such that "the item is attuned to the powers which will be instilled in it" and that other magi get the bonus "if they instill the appropriate powers into an item created by a Verditius" it appears fairly clear that the Verditius Runes will be designed for some particular power(s) and you can't get that bonus for just any power you want to instill in the item.


Funny. I've always read the part that says "The total bonus from Shape and Material and Verditius Runes is still limited by the magus’s Magic Theory score." to mean that the Verditius runes bonus is a bonus different from a Shape and Material bonus, somewhat similar to what ErikT is saying.

I would say both options are interesting. The reading which dissociates it from S&M means you can enchant something to do everything with a bonus. On the other hand, the reading that makes it a S&M bonus means you can make even more awesome Items of Quality.

This is important. If "appropriate" does not refer to the item's Shape and Material bonuses, what does it refer to? There obviously is a limitation — this is not a bonus for "any enchantment", and that is clear from the text. However, there is no mention at all of any limitation other than the S&M bonuses. I grant that this is unclear, but I would argue that an oblique mention is clearer than no mention at all.

What do you think it is talking about, then? It's clearly not talking about the magically influenced craft while opening for enchantment, because that's a separate thing in the second paragraph, and this paragraph explicitly applies to things that are not opened for enchantment.

If the English were unproblematic, we wouldn't be having debates over the correct interpretation.

I'm saying that you could boost the existing S&M bonuses for a wand to the enchanting magus's Magic Theory. Given that a wand already has a +4 bonus to destroy things at a distance, we are talking about a bonus of maybe +5 to Lab Total under ideal circumstances, for wandy things. (The Verditius has a Philosophiae score of 5, which is high, and the recipient has a Magic Theory of 9.) That's not game-breaking by a long chalk.

It might be if it were +5 to any enchantment at all, but that's not what I think the rules say.

I think you mix 2 things:

  • Verditius Runes defined in Ars CR. p. 93 is more of a technical aspect of how to create items/devices.

  • Verditius Elder Runes (HoH:MC p. 127.) are actual runes inscribed in the surface of any item.

"Appropriate" would be whatever the Verditius Runes are designed for.
The Verditius mage can attune the item to the powers which will be instilled in it in two separate ways.
The first is through regular Shape&Material bonuses.
The second is through Verditius Runes. One could view these as adding new S&M bonuses to the item that are not dependent on the regular S&M bonuses, but does stack with them.

That the Verditius Runes would only give a bonus to those effects you already have a regular S&M bonus for, that is a reading I can't get from the text even now that I am looking for it.
So if that was the intent, the text completely fails to convey it.


I think this paragraph is talking about using Craft with their own magic. It's pretty explicit about that. So I don't understand why it would apply to randomly whittling a piece of wood they would hand off to someone else.

I'm not saying the paragraph should allow Rego craft magic. I'm saying that if the paragraph is interpreted leaving out most of it so that just making any random thing counts (using only "When a Verditius magus makes an item for enchantment from raw materials,"), then the argument against using Rego craft magic disappears as well.

My issue is that line explicitly says "for enchantment" within it, and that is right after the sentence talking about incorporating craft into "their magic" and in the same sentence describing when it can apply to their Lab Totals. Where does this even hint that it applies to whittling a piece of wood for an hour for someone else would count?

I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying you couldn't open an item for someone else with Verditius Runes. The second paragraph clearly qualifies that. I'm saying I cannot find anything that suggests, for example, that if a Verditius carves a new wooden wheel for a child's toy to fix it, that some magus could grab the toy, remove the wheel, and use is in their own device to gain the bonus from Verditius Runes. But that is exactly what you're opening up if you say absolutely anything they ever craft includes the bonus.

David's point is that the bonus is general unless it is tied to something unnamed. I don't get that at all from the prior part, but I do see what he is suggesting with "appropriate." However, why would they give different bonuses? I'd read the prior part like you, as a general bonus, and "appropriate" could well mean to effects where the already existing S&M bonus isn't capped by their MT, as they get no bonus if the S&M bonus is capped.

Ah, I think I see the misunderstanding. You were taking "mundane crafting" to mean "crafting a completely mundane item with no intention of it ever being enchanted". I was taking it to mean "crafting an item for enchantment by entirely mundane means".

On your interpretation of the runes, items that aren't crafted to be enchanted cannot get a bonus from the Verditius runes, because there is no intended effect for them to give a bonus to.

On my interpretation, it's a possibility. I don't think it would be game-breaking to allow it, but it's not what the rules currently say, because they talk about crafting things for enchantment.

So, what does that mean?

A particular ReIg effect, with uses per day, Penetration, and so on all defined?
A particular ReIg effect, but uses per day and so on can be changed?
A particular ReIg effect, and anything that would qualify for a similar spell bonus from it?
For any of the above, an arbitrary number of particular effects, possibly of varying TeFo, defined at the time of crafting the item?
Any ReIg effect?
Any Ig effect?
Any Re effect?
Any effect?
Something else?

Textual support for your answer would be a bonus, but since clarificatory errata are needed anyway, we can add that if we reach a consensus.

It would mean whatever the troupe agrees on.

If the Verditius mage intends to enchant the item themselves, it should be for whatever effects they plan to instill in the item.

If I had to define it more generally, I think I would define it as one (or several) fairly specific effects, but with uses per day, penetration, and all such things left free to change.
It can't be just any effect or the poor Verditius mage wouldn't know which Verditius Runes to use. Usages per day, etc, should not be relevant for the Verditius Runes however.

And before you ask, no there is no textual support for this exact interpretation, but the text does make it fairly clear it can't be for just any random effect(s) either.

So you agree that my interpretation is within what is written?

This is obviously unclear.

First question: do we actually need clarifying errata, or can this actually be left up to troupes, for anything up to and including "any Re or Ig effect"?

If we do need an erratum, then the next question is "what should it say?". In the absence of a strong consensus on something else, I would go with my interpretation, because I think that's what I meant to say twenty years ago.

Speaking for myself, yes, I would like some clarification. If the Verditius Runes can be used for anything, like some troupes play now, I think it makes S&M bonuses less important for them.

I don't think there is anything in current rules that even hints at the bonus from Verditius runes being tied to the existing S&M bonuses, and I seriously doubt more than a handful of groups (if that) plays it that way. (At least that is not an interpretation I have seen come up in any discussions so far.)

That being said, I don't think it would be a bad rule as such to tie the Verditius Runes bonus to the regular S&M bonuses.
I do however believe it would be a change to the existing rules rather than a mere clarification.

For my part I don't really think an errata is needed on this. Each troupe can decide for themselves what "appropriate powers" mean, as they have must have done so far.
It is obviously unclear, but I don't think it is something that really needs to be made clear. People might rule differently on just what powers the Verditius Runes apply to, and it won't be much of a problem.
The use of the word "appropriate" makes it clearly unclear, so to speak, so there should (hopefully) not be much confusion, just different rulings.

The earlier part of the original question, on just what items Verditius Runes can be added to, and how the items may be crafted, that however does need to be made clearer.

I've always played the Verditius Runes bonus as general. It makes it possible for the Verditius to get a bonus no matter the shape and materials used, so that their Craft ability can be used no matter what they enchant. Linking the bonus to the S&M would defeat that (rather small) advantage.

If the Verditius Runes bonus is linked to the existing S&M bonuses of an item, how will that interact with Talisman attunement bonuses?

It wouldn't. Talisman attunement is based on the S&M bonuses, and Verditius runes are not S&M bonuses, even if they are linked to them.

Very few people seem to care about this issue, and the people who do have very different opinions. I may just have to make an executive decision.