How to be an Enchanter
The rules for enchanting are found in the Magic book, page 16. Any reference to mithril is a Blugar’s World nuance and is not found in the standard books, but comes directly from Bill.
Ways to Enchant Items
There are two ways to enchant items. The first way is the “slow and sure” way, in which you and any mage assistants spend 8 hours a day to create an item. Each assistant who works on an enchantment adds 1 point of energy per day to the enchantment along with the primary mage. The primary enchanter must have an effective skill of at least 15. (“Effective skill” is defined in its own section below.) All the mages participating must work on the item every day, and cannot work on any other enchantment at the same time. No FP or HP are used, and at the end of the enchanting, the primary enchanter makes one roll against his effective skill to determine whether or not the enchantment succeeds. Obviously, your day job as an adventurer precludes spending all this time enchanting.
The second way is the “quick and dirty” way, which takes only one hour per 100 points of energy (rounded up), but all the energy required must be immediately available by a team of mages via each mage’s FP, HP, and one powerstone each. At the end of the time, the primary enchanter makes a roll against his effective skill. Each caster can contribute different amounts as long as the total comes to what is needed and it falls within the limits for ceremonial magic as follows (Magic, pg 12):
- Each mage who knows the spell at an effective skill of 15+: as much energy as they wish to contribute.
- Each mage who knows the spell at an effective skill of 14 or lower: up to 3 energy points.
- Each unskilled spectator who supports the casting (by chanting, holding candles, etc.): 1 energy point, to a maximum of 100 energy points from all spectators.
- Each spectator who opposes the casting: -5 energy points, to a maximum penalty of -100 energy points from all spectators.
Spectators trying to help or hurt the enchantment must have at least human-level intelligence; you can’t, say, just get 100 trained dogs to help your enchantment! The spectators do not need to be mageborn. Also, they do not affect the primary mage’s effective skill whether they are helping or hurting the enchantment.
The quick-and-dirty way is clearly the one a busy adventurer will be using.
In either way of enchanting, you are using ceremonial magic, which means that regardless of your skill, 16 is always a failure, and, normally, 17 or 18 is a critical failure – which destroys the item. However, you can turn critical casting failures into regular, non-destroying failures if you have added the Stable Casting modifier to your Magery advantage. A failure still consumes the energy and any materials used (including any mithril needed for the enchantment). In addition, the enchantment’s energy cost is not reduced regardless of how skilled you are.
If you have a critical success, the item’s enchantment’s power increases by 2d. If you roll a natural 3, the GM may add some further enchantment. You will know if you roll a critical, but you will have to roll Analyze Magic to determine the exact result.
Enchanting any item with a permanent spell requires mithril. The mithril is consumed in the enchantment. The mithril required for the enchantment does not reduce the effective skill of the casters.
1MP is required for each 1,000 mana points of enchantment. Any fractional remainder can be incorporated into the item for later use OR left as mithril. For example, a +1 weapon requires 400 energy points, so the choice is either to leave the remaining 600 energy points in the sword for later use OR leave behind 6/10th of a mithril piece on the table for use in another project.
Potions, charms (one time single spell use) and one time items like magic arrows do not require mithril for their construction.
Calculating Effective Skill
To calculate the effective skill of the primary caster, first determine the lower of his skill with the spell being enchanted and the Enchant spell itself. Then, further reduce it by -1 for each assistant mage, by -1 for each prior enchantment on the item (Blugar’s rules mod, see below for exceptions), by -1 for each HP used (quick and dirty only), and by -1 if anyone other than mages and unskilled spectators involved in the enchanting process is within 10’ of the event (quick and dirty only). Since enchanting is ceremonial magic (Magic, pg 12), the caster can raise his effective skill by increasing the energy he uses to cast the enchantment: +1 for 20% extra energy, +2 for 40%, +3 for 60%, +4 for 100%, and another +1 per additional 100% of the required energy.
The effective skill of any assistants is determined by the lower of his skill with the spell being enchanted and the Enchant spell itself, but only reduced by the presence of any HP’s used to fuel the enchantment. The effective skill of assistants only matters in that it must remain at 15 or above if they wish to contribute more than 3 energy points.
If you add an enchantment to an item that already has that same enchantment, it does not make it any harder to later add further enchantments. For example, if you have a bag of holding, and then make it a bigger bag of holding, it remains the same difficulty to add new enchantments. However, if you also add an enchantment to make it invisible, then you suffer an additional -1 to your effective skill if you later want to add another enchantment.
For the purposes of previous enchantments, any enchantments that only assists other enchantments rather than produce their own independent effect are not considered enchantments, just enhancements. This list includes attune, bane, name, password, power, speed, link, limit, and delay.
Example Enchanting Process (Quick and Dirty)
For example, Joe and Jane decide to cast a quick and dirty enchantment to add 5 unencumbered pounds to a backpack, which costs a total of 500 energy (and 1/2 mithril piece). The backpack already has a Name enchantment, an Invisibility enchantment, and a Hideaway enchantment for 10 unencumbered pounds. Thus the primary mage’s casting has a penalty of 2 (for the previous Invisibility and Hideaway enchantments), and 1 (for the second mage) for a total of 3. (The Name enchantment doesn’t add a penalty, as described in the previous section.) Both mages have the Enchant spell at 19, Joe has the Hideaway spell at 20, and Jane has the Hideaway spell at 17. Because Joe’s base effective skill is higher (19 vs. 17), he will be the primary enchanter. Joe’s final effective skill is 3 less, or 16, and Jane’s remains at 17. Both have effective skills at at least 15, so Joe’s is sufficient to complete the enchantment and Jane’s is sufficient for a full assistant. Joe uses his 15 FP and 85 points from his powerstone. Jane uses her 17 FP and 383 points from her powerstone. It takes 500 energy / 100 energy/hour = 5 hours of casting to complete the enchantment. To determine if the enchantment was successful, Joe makes a single roll at the end vs. 15 (even though his effective skill is higher than 15, 16-18 are always failures). Regardless of the results, the mithril is consumed, both mages are quite fatigued, and each powerstone is drained accordingly. Because there was already a Hideaway spell on the backpack, the new Hideaway enchantment adds no additional penalty for preexisting enchantments.
To cast a durable enchantment on a person, you need to know the Ensorcel spell (Magic, pg 60). Casting spells on people works the same way as with items, except that the Ensorcel spell takes the place of the Enchant spell in all spell and effective skill determinations. If the subject is not willing, he gets a resistance roll if the base spell has one.
The cost of the enchantment is 200 times the casting cost of the spell. However, the cost is reduced if there is an “escape clause”, meaning something the enchanted person could do to break the spell. The discount varies from 10% (for truly difficult or highly unlikely conditions, like the subject not knowing he has to kiss an unrestrained and willing troll in the middle of the town market at noon) to 90% (for something that the subject could easily and automatically do, and easily discover, like telling the subject he just has to say a magic word 3 times in a row).
Although every active spell maintained by a mage reduces his skill at casting any further spell by 1 (each), ensorcelments cast on a mage are not active spells and do not affect his casting.
Staffs and Wands
Many enchantments specify that a spell can only be stored in a staff or wand. Typically, these spells involve pointing at something to indicate who or where you want the spell to target. If any enchantment that says the item can be a staff or wand, you may use any item that can be pointed (such as a sword).
Powerstones and Manastones
Since your FP and HP will be limited, and you may be casting something requiring hundreds or perhaps even thousands of energy points, the key to quick and dirty enchanting will be to use a powerstone or manastone with a lot of energy stored in it. A regular powerstone (Magic, pg 69) is an item that stores energy, and recharges automatically (typically 1 point per day, but the actual rate depends on the mana level). The problem with powerstones is that they are expensive and hard to acquire with high energy storage. A much easier solution is to use a manastone, which is essentially a powerstone that does not recharge. Just as with a powerstone, any item can be a manastone. The important factor with either, however, is the value of the item. To store a given power in either, the item must be valuable enough to contain the energy. If that item is valuable enough to contain the energy, then the Powerstone or Manastone spell costs the fatigue listed as base. If not, then the Powerstone or Manastone spell costs 4 times the fatigue listed.
The relationship between the cost of an item ( C ) in gold pieces and the maximum amount of energy (P) you can store in the manastone without the 4x FP penalty is
C = P 2 + (4 * P)
P = SQRT (C + 4) – 2
Note 1: the cost is in gold pieces, NOT dollars! Be careful to make the conversion if you are using dollars.
Note 2: the cost is the value of the item in the open market, not the cost to make it. If the item is considered priceless (example: an artistic masterpiece), the GM sets the limit to the amount of energy you can add to it.
To add one energy point to a manastone, cast the Manastone spell (Magic pg. 70). Each cast costs 5 FP (or 20 FP if you exceed the cost of the item). Because adding a point of energy to a manastone is still enchanting, and all enchanting is ritual magic, high skill does not reduce the energy cost, 16 is always a failure, and 17 or 18 are normally critical failures.
A critical failure destroys the manastone. To avoid destroying an item, you need to add the Stable Casting modifier to your Magery advantage to turn a critical failure into a normal failure.
Figuring out Manastone Casting Totals Between Adventures
When you are not adventuring, you can spend much of the day casting Manastone, resting to recover FP, and repeating. You recover FP’s by “resting quietly”, which is defined as reading, talking, and thinking (Basic, 427). You can neither walk nor do anything more strenuous. If you are resting quietly, you regain a lost FP every 10 minutes. However, if you know the Recover Energy spell (Magic, pg 89), it only takes 5 minutes to recover a lost FP at skill 15, or 2 minutes at skill 20. Also, some drugs and magic potions can restore FP’s, such as an alchemy Healing potion (Magic, pg 217) that can restore 1d FP. You can also restore FP’s from other people via the Lend Energy spell (Magic, pg 89).
Some feel that the Absolute Timing advantage is essential to figuring out exactly when you have recovered FP’s and can recast Manastone, but if you have enough FP and leave yourself a buffer, this advantage is simply helpful and not absolutely necessary. If you don’t have the Absolute Timing advantage, talk with the GM to determine a reasonable buffer for your character.
Also, the Less Sleep advantage is extremely helpful at giving you up to 4 extra hours per day that you can cast instead of sleeping.
To figure out how many points you can cast into a manastone when you are not adventuring, first determine how many hours you need to spend being active. Here are two examples:
- To justify keeping your strength, health, fitness, and weapon skill above average, it would be reasonable to allocate 4 hours/day for daily practice and exercise.
- If you are creating an alchemy potion, you need to allocate 8 hours/day to attend to it. If you have an assistant via the Ally advantage, you could reasonably split that time to 4 hours/day for each person.
If you’re not sure about how much time to allocate for your circumstances, talk with the GM.
Here’s the formula for the energy you can add to a manastone when not adventuring, if you are not using Lend Energy, drugs, or magic potions:
Total Daily Charging = (Chance of Casting Success) * (TRUNC ((Resting Time) * 60 / (FP Recovery Rate) / (Manastone Casting Cost)) + TRUNC ((FP – 1) / (Manastone Casting Cost)))
Resting Time = 24 – (Active Time) – (Sleep Time)
Note: for convenience of typical usage, Resting Time, Active Time, and Sleep Time are specified in hours, while FP Recovery Rate is specified in minutes.
The (FP – 1) part of the formula assumes you cast your FP’s down to 1 at the end of the day, leaving you just enough energy to stumble up to your room and into bed. This calculation also assumes you have the Magery Stable Casting modifier so you do not have to worry about blowing up the manastone with critical failures.
FP Recovery Rate is the time it takes you to recover one FP while resting. If you don’t have the Absolute Timing advantage, you will have to add your buffer time to the FP Recovery Rate.
For a typical mage, you will know Manastone at at least skill 15, meaning you will have a roughly 95% change of success (i.e., there is roughly a 5% chance of rolling 16-18, which are always failures regardless of your skill). You typically will be casting only into an item with sufficient value to contain the energy from your Manastone, so the FP cost to cast will be 5 instead of 20. Also, you will know Recover Energy at at least skill 20 and will have the Absolute Timing advantage, meaning you recover a FP every 2 minutes and know precisely when you have recovered that FP. We’ll assume that your resting time is a whole number or at least divisible by 6, so that you don’t need to truncate the result of the energy you store during your resting time. In that case, the formula reduces to:
Total Daily Charging = .95 * ((Resting Time) * 6 + TRUNC ((FP – 1) / 5))
Example Manastone Casting Total Between Adventures
For example, say Joe spends 4 hours a day staying fit and toned. He has the Less Sleep advantage at level 4, meaning he only needs to sleep 4 hours/day. This leaves him 24 – 4 – 4 = 16 hours of time to rest, which he primarily uses to read and learn. Joe has 15 FP’s. Joe also is a typical mage as described above (he can cast Manastone at skill 15+, his manastone meets the value requirements, he has the Absolute Timing advantage, and he knows Recover Energy at skill 20+). Thus, the total energy he can charge his manastone each day he is not adventuring is
Joe’s Total Daily Charging = .95 * (16 * 6 + TRUNC ((15 – 1) / 5)) = .95 * (96 + 2) = 93 energy points/day
Figuring out Manastone Casting Totals During Adventures
When you are adventuring, the time you can allocate to casting Manastone is greatly reduced because you will rarely be resting. However, you could reasonably be casting, for example, while traveling in a carriage someone else is driving (but not if you are driving the horses or on horseback yourself), while waiting in a hotel room, during the evening on an extra watch if you have the Less Sleep advantage and there are no encounters, or just before going to sleep when you could cast FP – 1 points (fully divisible by the Manastone cost). Keep track, and just be aware that if something happens while you have been casting, you should take into account how many FP’s you are down. (Roll a d(spell cost) if the time from casting is random or unknown.)
On the other hand, when you are adventuring there is always the risk that you might suddenly be attacked without any warning. Thus, you might simply decide to avoid casting Manastone at all to insure you always have your full FP if you are careful, paranoid, easily frightened, etc.
To be an optimally efficient enchanter, you want the following abilities and items:
- Appropriate enchanting college spells: Manastone, Powerstone, Enchant, and Ensorcel (if you intend to enchant living beings as well)
- The above spells’ skills and skills of spells you want to put into items are all high enough so that your effective skills for enchanting are 15
- Recover Energy spell at skill 20
- Absolute Timing advantage
- Less Sleep advantage at level 4
- Stable Casting modifier on your Magery advantage
- If you cast Manastone while adventuring, an easily portable, fairly valuable item you can use as a manastone for smaller enchantments
- A very valuable item at home that you can cast Manastone on in between adventures for all other enchantments
- Plenty of mithril