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I am still not quite sure of how enchantment works, or why it is a good idea I've decided to make the topic. Hopefully my rambling will lead to something fruitful and clear up any mistakes I may make along the way!

Before I begin I'm basically reading up from the core rule book (from pg. 95 ArM5 and onward), and writing my findings here. I won't say I can do a better job in explaining it, but by presenting more examples, how I arrived at the calculations and, with a bit of aid, suggestions with useful enchantments I hope that we will all (or, just me, if nothing else!) have a firmer and more insightful approach to enchantments. Please note I will likely edit this post a lot, but if you find mistakes or worthy additions then please comment smile.gif

So, enchantment! Basically happens in three ways. Invested, lesser enchantments, and charged. All of which will require something to enchant, a lab and an effect (read 'spell') you want to imbue the item with.

It should be noted that I use effect because spells can be misleading, given that spells do not naturally have charges, specific triggers, a set penetration, and so on. Like normal spells, you may create your own spells to use as you see fit. Remember to read the guidelines and add the required magnitudes.

(Various formulas that you'd might want to look up will be gathered here)

Lab total: Technique + Form + Intelligence + Magic Theory + Aura

Similar spells: When inventing and enchanting you receive a bonus if you know the spell or similar spell you are aiming for. +1 for every 5 levels of the highest level similar spell known. (See pg. 101 ArM5, pg. 69 ArM4)

Difficulty level of enchantment: Level of spell you wish to enchant + frequency + trigger modifications + penetration + additional modifiers.

Charged: The cheapest way to get an enchantment done but it will run out of charges (Think of typical DnD wands), and is created in one season.

Gather the needed; a lab, something to enchant and a spell. Depending on the spell find your relevant Lab total. Compare the spell for your lab total, and for every 5 (or part of 5, if just barely managed it) you get one charge.

The item can be anything, and you can split the charges among various items, as long as they are identical (Such as arrows).

Example of Charged item enchantment:

We want to enchant an acorn (or anything), and the spell we want it to be able to cast is Words of the Unspoken Silence CrMe10

For Silas his lab total is:
7 Tech + 10 Form + 2 Int + 3 MT +4 = 22. I'd argue that Memory of a Distant Dream (which Silas knows) is close, but not close enough, so no bonus.
Since 22 (Lab total) exceeds 10 (Spell level) by 12 Silas' enchanted acorn can gain 3 charges. Or he can split it between 3 different acorns distributing it to the guarding grog.

Invested and Lesser Enchantments:

A brief prelude. Unlike the charged enchantment these two types cost vis. The amount of vis needed depends on the effect you wish to enchant but you are limited in how much you can invest into an item, see Material and Size tables (pg. 97 ArM5).

Example of how much vis an item can store for enchanting purposes:

An acorn would be counted as tiny and wood, making the maximum amount of vis able to be invested 2 (wood) * 1 (tiny): 2

An Iron sword would be 5 (from base metal) * 3 (From medium size): 15

An Iron Spear would be 5 (base metal) * 4 (large) 20

Depending on the materials used you are limited in how much vis you can spend on an item. HOWEVER you also gain bonuses when enchanting certain materials or shapes when creating the enchantment. Some things are just easier to enchant with a given effect, find the bonuses table at pg. 110 in ArM5 - YOUR bonus from material or shape is limited to your Magic Theory score though, something to keep in mind. (the limitation is suggested in the example on pg. 97 ArM5 and mentioned later on pg. 99)

The amount of vis needed to enchant an item is the difficulty of the enchanted effect divided by 10.

As mentioned previously I use the term 'effect' when talking about which spell we enchant with. The reason is that we may need to alter the spell (or just create our own) to fit the wand, and most likely, also add a difficulty for the number of uses the enchanted item has per day, any penetration and if you wish the trigger to be more than a gesture or a word. (You can find the frequency table on pg. 98 ArM5)

Extra modifications, such as penetration, concentration, limiting who can use it or how long it can be used all add to the difficulty. The most used is perhaps penetration and concentration. You gain two points in penetration for every one point added to the difficulty. (See pg. 99)

When you have your difficulty and your Lab Total (along with any bonuses) then it is much like learning or creating spells. Your Lab Total must meet the difficulty and any points left over is used to say how fast you may finish the assignment. In the case of Lesser Enchantment your Lab Total must be twice the difficulty, to finish it in a single season.

Example of Lesser Enchantment:

A merchant associated with the covenant has come with a request. A device he could use to shrink his animal herd when he is headed to the market.

To do this we pick the spell: Beast of Miniscule Proportions MuAn20. The man has 12 animals he needs to change, which gives an added difficulty of +4. The cows are mundane and he doesn't wish the trigger to be anything other than a usual tap of the wand, so no added difficulty there!
To aid in the enchantment we find a proper material, for animals magnetite works decently (adds a +3).

The difficulty is therefore: 24 (20 from spell, 4 from frequency).
Here we should return to see if our materials can handle such a spell. Magnetite counts as a semi-precious stone, meaning it can contain 12 pouches of vis. It needs not though! With the difficulty we need only 3 pouches, as we divide the difficulty and the round up to the nearest whole number. 24/10 = 2.4 -> 3.

Wendi, the Herbam Muter, has a huge lab score for this exact combination, naturally she took the job.
Her Lab total is: +19 Muto, +16 Animal, +3 Int, +4 Magic Theory, +4 Aura : 46
Thanks to the choice of material though she gains an additional +3 from the magnetite, making her final 'skill' 49.

With more than double the difficulty of 24 (just!) Wendi can make this as a Lesser Enchantment in a single season.

With that mentioned then let us return to the two enchantments. Invested and Lesser Enchantments. The difference between the two is that Lesser Enchantments may only hold one effect and must be made in a single season. Invested is less restricted in this manner; It may hold several enchantments and you may spend several seasons instilling the effect into the item.

Lesser Enchantment:

As mentioned before, you need something to enchant, have appropriate amount of vis available and be sure that your materials can contain it. Furthermore you need more than twice the difficulty in lab total (when all bonuses are added, such as material or shape), such as the example above has shown.

Things to consider:
Which spell to use.
How often it should be used. (pg. 98 ArM5)
Penetration of the spell.
Other of similar sort as the above. (See Effect modification pg. 99 ArM5)
Calculate the total difficulty of the enchantment and keep it below half your lab total in the given area.
Amount of vis needed to enchant the item.
Which material and/or shape to use. Ensure the item can contain the needed vis. (See pg. 110 for bonuses, pg 97 for max vis allowance)
Do you know a spell similar to the one desired?

Example of Lesser Enchantment:

Another merchant wants to enter the ice business. Selling something called 'snow cones' as a vision told him that there was money to be made selling those. Because of the general warm and temperate climate by the covenant he is forced to ask a mage for assistance.
The spell we want is: Breath of Winter ReAq15 and it looks fine without having to add or subtract from the original spell.
It needs only be used twice per day, and needs not penetrate anything. Adding only a single point of difficulty from the twice per day.
Total difficulty is then 16.
This means two vis is needed. Time to find something to enchant. The wizard suggests crystal which would give +5 to water related effects, but it is too rich for the merchant so they settle for a tiny dull stone. Stone can carry up to four vis, so it is enough.
Wendi, the herbam muter, is at it again. Her lab total here is: +14 Rego, +7 aquam, +3 int, +4 Magic Theory, +4 Aura : 32. Just enough.

Invested Enchantment:

There are several benefits to invested enchantment and a few drawbacks.

The benefits:
You may invest several unique effects, each with a different trigger if you desire.
You are not limited to finishing the work in a single season, allowing more advanced spells to be added.
May add the more complicated linked-trigger, allowing multiple enchantments to work together. (One such effect could be to have a small spell detecting when you wish to cast the spell, no longer requiring a verbal or gesture to trigger the given effect)

To open you must spend a season and an amount of Vim vis corresponding to the table at pg. 97 - it should be noted that you cannot open an item partially, so the full cost must be paid.

Example of Invested Enchantment:

An adventurer came to us and wanted an enchanted ring. As he was willing to pay for the time and had vis to spare we gladly accepted.
The ring is a silver ring, meaning it will require 6 Vim vis to open (6 from silver * 1 for tiny), allowing a total max difficulty of 60. I use total here because there may be several enchantments in a given Invested Enchantment.
Opening the ring takes a season and 6 Vim vis.

Now comes the enchantment. The adventurer wants a constant effect of Veil of Invisibility PeIm20. The effect is made constant by having the frequency be 2 (added 1 level of difficulty) and an environmental trigger (adding 3 levels). This way the trigger will keep track of sunset and daybreak, using one of the two uses per day each. In addition he wants to be the only one who can use it, adding another 3 levels of difficulty. (these difficulty additions can be found on page 99)
The final difficulty is then 27, 20 from the spell 3 from the trigger 1 from the frequency and 3 from effect use (ie. limiting the number of people able to use it).
Let us say Wendi the Herbam Muter's final Lab Total for Perdo Imagnem was 36, we subtract the 24 and end up with 12. This way it will take her three seasons to finish, as her seasonal progress (the 12 just mentioned) needs to build up to the difficulty. It will in addition also cost 3 pouches of vis.

Pleased the adventurer commissions yet another enchantment as Wendi explained that the ring could hold more, sadly until I find a good enchantment he can't afford it. Touch luck!

This is an item that is dear to use, losing it means leaving an arcane connection to yourself that others might exploit. That said there are several benefits to a talisman though it remains in essence an invested enchantment. You may only have one Talisman at any time. If you wish to create another then the first must first be destroyed, in addition to this, enchanting a talisman requires that you spend a season prior to the enchantment attuning the item to you.

Possibility to extend your reach: The talisman is part of you, so much so that touch spells will work if you only touch the target with the talisman. As example you may have created a staff, adding perhaps two meters to your actual reach (depending on the staff naturally).
Your talisman has potential to be enchanted beyond normal invested items. You may open this item as far as your highest technique added to your highest form. In addition you can open this item a bit at a time unlike regular invested enchantments.
You receive a bonus to your lab total while enchanting this item of +5.
It should be noted that if the talisman is lost it still shares your magic resistance derived from your form scores.
Can be opened a bit at a time - HOWEVER it still takes a season each time you do this.

You may only have a single talisman at any given time.
You must spend a season attuning your talisman.
You retain a arcane connection with your talisman, one that does not fade with time.

Example of enchanting a Talisman:

Wendi the Herbam muter has made a fortune enchanting stuff for others and she is finally ready to spend obscene amounts on her talisman. I won't bore you with the details of the creation but Wendi ends up with a wooden staff expertly crafted with arcane symbols etched into it and a precious stone at the end.

Wendi spends a season attuning the staff to herself.
Then she spends a season opening it. She opens it with a full 8 pawns of Vim vis, knowing full well that she can spend an additional 33 pawns at a later date (once she attains such an absurd amount). The max number of Vim vis she can spend opening is her highest form + higest technique, which is for Wendi 19 and 22, giving 41 (and she just spend 8, hence the 33).
She knows which spell she wants to instill first, an old favorite of hers: Freeing the Striding Tree ReHe30. In addition to the spell she desires 3 uses per day (adding +2 to difficulty), she wishes the staff to hold the concentration for her (adding additional 5)
The total difficulty of this ends at 37, but she is happy to spend 4 pouches of vis on this.

Her ReHe lab total is then 14 rego + 22 herbam + 3 int + 4 magic theory + 4 aura. In addition she gains + 5 from working on her talisman, + 3 from knowing the spell (which again is the spells level / 10), + 4 from the bonus material she works with (wood for a wood-related spell). Her lab total, along with bonuses yield her 59 points.

When you subtract the difficulty (59 - 37) she progresses 22 points per season creating this talisman, meaning it takes two seasons for her to finish the enchanting part.

Wendi is happy with her talisman but wants to improve it. And she does. Currently her staff/talisman has 80 open, 37 of which is spent. After enchanting yet another effect into her talisman Wendi realizes that she can no longer enchant effects into it, but she rightfully remembers that this is a talisman, meaning she can open it further even now a few years later. With glee Wendi continues her work.

When creating spells or enchanting you can experiment, to possibly great effect or utter ruin.
You must decide each season if you wish to experiment, effects gained through experimentation are all added. If you spend two seasons experimenting while creating your invisibility spell and your in your first season you got the side effect that you attract birds and in the second you got the fatal flaw that you, while invisible, would radiate light then the finished invisibility spell would BOTH attract birds and radiate light.

You may chose how much you wish to gamble, but simply initiating in experimentation adds a simple dice to your lab total. You must however also make a similar roll for Extraordinary Results (the chart is found pg. 109 ArM5).
You may chose to up the gamble though, adding +1 or +3 to both rolls. This is of cause decided when you first decide if you wish to experiment.
It should be mentioned that the roll for Extraordinary Results is a stress dice and can botch, ruining your work and potentially threatening the covenant.

Bonuses, virtues, and other aiding in the enchantment process.

One House is famed for it's enchanters; Verditius,, and mages initiated there has access to the Outer Order of Verditius Magic, allowing them to add one appropriate crafting skill to their Lab totals when enchanting items, provided he made the item himself.

The Virtue; Inventive genius, gives an additional +3 to Lab total when creating spells, enchantments and potions, going up to +6 when experiment.



The various spell magnitude modifiers;




Personal 0

Touch/eye 1

Voice 2

Sight 3

Arcane Connection 4



Momentary 0

Concentration/Diameter 1 (Diameter is 2 minutes ~ 20 combat rounds)

Sun/ring 2 (Sun duration last until the sun next sets or rises - Ring means it will last until the target moves outside the ring or the ring is broken through physical means)

Moon 3 (Last roughly a month, specifically til the moon as been full and new)

Year 4 (Lasts roughly a year. specifically until sunrise on the fourth equinox or solstice after the casting) - These kinds must be ritual spells though.



Individual/Circle 1

Part 1 (Focus on a specific part of something/one, like a hand, a foot, the roots of a tree or so on.)

Group/room 2

Structure 3

Boundary 4 (Something encircled, like a city's walls, a valley surrounded by mountain or the like. Must be Ritual.)









If you have additions then please feel free to share them, I'll try to keep the post up to date. If you have particularly useful enchantments then feel free to post them as well! Inspiration is always useful.

Freespace, if you read this then kindly direct Gustbran to this thread, I think he might start fishing for favors if he reads it. (Well, favors or threats..) I don't think they use the right difficulty in their final calculation, but the enchantment and idea is a nifty one!

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Freespace: Could you make that face smaller :P Makes scrolling the thread slightly painful.


Adrian: Everything looks correct to me. As for the question:


Notwithstanding Verditius magic and other enchantment-boosters, the basic reason for why it might be sensible to do something via enchantment is that you can often make it more powerful than you could otherwise. The reason you can't see this is because you still haven't got all the rules in there. In addition to getting magic theory, intelligence, and high covenant aura to the lab total (as opposed to casting), you also get material and shape bonuses, the talisman bonus, the expiry modifiers in the case of invested items (see errata), and possible assistant bonuses, like from apprentices (or Taitale; he should advertise his lab assistant services to the player characters a bit more, by the way). And, on top of all this, you can spend multiple seasons if you like.


There are also functional reasons, like you mentioned. One thing that's quite important in Baruch's case is that if he were to cast the flying spell as a formulaic, he would risk losing concentration on it and falling to a gruesome death. As it is, however, the talisman holds concentration (this costs 5 levels), so he can whisk away without fear. This depends on the effect, though - Taitale's chair uses our boat's Herbam effect that is independent of concentration to begin with. And, of course, you can use enchanted items with triggers to build all kinds of minecraftian or dwarffortressian Turing machines.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ah right, I almost forgot this. I start way too much, a character flaw no doubt.


I had a question though, does triggers count as seperate spells? In other words, can lesser enchantments have triggers as long as your lab total is up for it?



And good point Schwarzbart, I'll be sure mention it. Also need to add talisman. Maybe a part to mention ways to increase the potential. Virtues & apprentices, lab assistants and such I suppose.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I've written this off as 'done' but if anyone finds something that ought to be added then please post your thoughts and I'll jump to it.





Now, the real reason I am posting now is because I had an idea and I wanted to know if the rest of you thought it possible - strictly theoretic. I'm not planning on making something like this in the game!


It would be an invested item, focused mainly on Rego Corpus. The cost might be horrendus (as is it's purpose) but I was mulling over how a completely sadistic maga might spent her time finding those little joys in life. This is an attempt.


Spell effects:

Lifting the Dangling Puppet (ArM5 134) Lifts the target up into the air, demands contectration. 4 + 2 voice +1 concentration ReCo15


The Peeling of Skin (homebrewed) Create a pull on the target's bodypart, be it skin or limb. Cause a pull strong enough to tear flesh causing 5 points of damage. 10 +1 Part, +2 Voice +1 Concentration ReCo30 (Took the damage and basis from Creo Ignem, I think it is how it was supposed to be but please correct me)


Total difficulty of spells alone: 45



Triggers n stuff:

+0 for a normal trigger on Lifting the Dangling Puppet

+2 for 3 uses pr. day

+5 for concentration

+30 for a mental trigger for The Peeling of Skin

+5 for 24 uses pr. day

+5 for concentration

Total added +47


Absolute total 92

Meaning 10 Vim vis is needed to open, and an additional 10 corpus/rego needed to fill it. This counl be contained in an iron wand for example.


It would be called The Mundane Punisher, designed for the sole purpose of torturing grogs or other mundanes with no resistance in an excruciating painful and public manner.


Is my math off, did I forget something obvious, and is the spell effect... plausible. I realize you could easily make an item that kills more effectively than this, but death was never really the point here I suppose.


I'm was tempted to add Endurance of the Berserker, but I'm afraid that it might let you shrug off the pain as berserkers do, rather than linger in it...



*cough* right. Going to sleep now. I promise that if I ever become Story Guide it will be full of rainbows and unicorns and not insane megalomaniacal wizards of ancient power.

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Ignem can do damage easyer then all other Arts so you can't use this guidlines as base for a other art.

But Corpus have theyr own Damage guidlines in Perdo Corpus that even ignore Armor. (Skinning a person alive is Perdo Corpus!!!)

I also doubt you can use Rego Corpus to do damage the way you describt.

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With the same base it would, in Perdo corpus, translate to a medium wound. Isn't that even more damage? (in most cases..) Unless medium wounds doesn't translate to actual damage (on page 179)


I considered Perdo Corpus, but as you commented on, I was also slightly curious if Rego was able to be used in this branch.

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