Enchanting

Enchanting.

Enchanting is the act of endowing objects with magical properties through the use of a soul and the Enchant skill.
Unlike Spellcasting, enchantments come in three forms. Enchantments utilize magic components just like spells do. Each enchantment type reflects a different means of activating the component(s) the object is enchanted with. There are three types of enchantments.

Cast, Strike and Constant.

Cast enchantments are magic components “stored” within an item. Their components are invoked using the Cast Magic action. If multiple components are invoked that require a target selection, they must have the same target.
The maximum range at which a character can target something is equal to twice their Perception score. Cast enchantments are resolved exactly like spells, except the character counts as having automatically passed the casting test and the usual magicka cost is instead paid via soul energy from the item.

Strike enchantments are magic components stored in weapons that apply when the weapon strikes a target.

Constant enchantments apply their components to whomever is wearing or wielding the item constantly.

Souls and Soul Gems.

Every being on Nirn has a soul. The soul of a being is their essence: it animates their physical being. There are two types of souls: Black and White souls.

  • Black Souls are the more powerful souls of higher beings, such as Men or Mer.
  • White Souls are the souls of lesser beings, such as Animals, or Daedra.

Powering an enchantment with a soul first requires that the soul be trapped within a Soul Gem, naturally occurring magic crystals This is accomplished through the use of the Soul Trap effect, which binds the target to a soul gem (through the soul bound condition). If the target dies while under this effect, their soul is captured within the soul gem and turned into soul energy.

However it must be noted, that Black Souls can only be held within Black Soul Gems

Soul Energy reflects the amount of Magicka stored within the soul that can be used for enchanting. Once a soul gem has been filled with any amount of soul energy, it cannot have any more added to it.
As the souls of Men and Mer are considered Black souls, they are generally more powerful and have more Soul Energy so can fuel stronger enchantments.
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There are a number of different soul gems, each of which has its own maximum soul energy and can only hold certain types of souls. A soul may not be trapped within a soul gem whose maximum soul energy is less than the soul energy of that soul.

Below is a list of different soul gems and their quality.
For the sake of being numerical, I have also added an approximate amount of Soul Energy each gem can hold.

Gem Type Soul Type Max Soul Energy
Petty White 100
Lesser White 250
Common White 500
Greater White 1000
Grand White 1500
Black Any 1500+

Item & Material Enchantment Level

The soul energy stored within a soul gem is not the only limiting factor on the strength of an enchantment: different items can all support enchantments of different strengths.
For instance, if you attempted to enchant a Paper Plane with Lightning Bolt, it simply would not be able to hold that much soul energy.
So as an abstract sort of measurement, the stronger the material used, or the higher quality used, the more soul energy is able to be infused into the item.
If a soul gem containing more soul energy than the enchantment level is used to enchant an item, the excess soul energy cannot be used in the enchantment and is simply lost.

Item Charge & Recharging

Cast and Strike enchantments do not last forever! Each cast or strike with the item uses a certain amount of soul energy (the enchantment’s Soul Energy Cost) from the item’s Charge.
If this would reduce the charge to below zero, then the cast or strike effect can no longer be used and the item must be recharged.

Recharging an item is a simple action, at least for anyone trained in enchanting in anyway.
The person recharging the item requires that they have a soul gem with soul energy inside it. A simple minute long ritual is required: on completion, soul energy inside the soul gem is transferred to the item’s current charge. Any soul energy that would exceed the item’s maximum charge is left inside the gem, but otherwise all the soul energy is always transferred. This destroys the soul gem.

Out of Character Explanation.

Creating Enchanted Items

To create an enchanted item, follow these steps. Creating an enchanted item takes roughly eight hours, during which the character must be focused on creating the item.

Step 1: Choose Item

First, the enchanter must specify which item they wish to enchant. Enchantments can be applied to all sorts of items, though only some items have a listed enchantment level (as these are the ones most commonly enchanted). If a character wishes to enchant some other item, the enchantment level is left to the GM’s discretion.

Ammunition

Characters enchant ammunition in “batches.” The character must use a Strike enchantment, and if the enchantment is created successfully it is applied to all of the ammo. The cost of the enchantment must be less than the EL of a single shot, but the total soul energy required is equal to the cost of the enchantment times the number of units being enchanted.
If enchanted ammunition strikes a target it activates just as a normal strike enchantment would, and the enchantment is removed after it resolves.

For this example I will use a Common Quality Cloak. This can be made of any material considered ‘common’ in this instance.
A Common Quality Cloak has an Enchantment Level (EL) of 188.

Step 2: Choose Soul Gem

Next the enchanter chooses a soul gem. The soul gem must have a non-zero amount of soul energy stored in order for it to be used in an enchantment. Once the soul gem has been used to enchant an item, it will be destroyed entirely.

Due to our EL for the Common Quality Cloak our best choice for a Soul Gem would be a Lesser Soul Gem which as 250 Soul Power, which exceeds out 188 EL for the Cloak

Step 3: Choose Enchantment Type and Component(s)

In this step the enchanter decides the form of the enchantment(cast, strike, or constant) and the component(s) that he will be enchanting the item with. Enchanters learn effects for use in components by purchasing the Enchanter talent for a particular school of magic. If the enchanter has the talent, he may utilize effects from that school in components for enchantments.

Normally, characters can only create enchantments with one component with a maximum effect level of four. Use the same rules listed in Spellcasting under Components
Cast Cast enchantments are simply “stored” components and can be applied to any item. Strike Strike enchantments can only be applied to weapons, and apply their components on successful hits. Components being created for use in strike enchantments must use the Strike form. Constant Constant enchantments can be applied to any item, and their components are applied to whoever is wearing or wielding that item at the beginning of each round. Components which are being created for use in constant enchantments must use the Constant form only.
I will use two different types of Enchantment Types for this Example, Cast and Constant
First Example: Cast. The spell I will select for Cast will be a Self Spell. Detect Life/Spirit Sight, cast at it’s standard level.
Which will cost 9 Magicka per use and give my character Unnatural Senses (Life 75) Trait for 1 Minute.
Which will allow my character, on Cast, to see anything that is alive, through objects, for 75 meters for one minute and can be used 20 times before I will need to use a Soul Gem to recharge it.
Second Example: Constant. The spell I will select for Constant will be a Self Spell. Tread Lightly, cast at it’s standard level.
Which will cost 18 Magicka to create.
It will give my character the Muffle Trait x3 condition, constantly.
Which will make my character harder to hear, at a -30 penalty for anyone attempting to hear my character while moving.
This particular item drains 18 Soul Power every 3 minutes (Or will deteriorate at GM specified times)
For the First Example I would need to know the spell Detect Life/Spirit Sight before I could create the enchanted item.
For the Second Example I would need to know the spell Tread Lightly before I could create the enchanted item.

Step 4: Make the Enchanting Test

Next, the enchanter makes an Enchant skill test against the difficulty of the enchantment. On success the enchantment is created, on failure it is not. Either way, the soul gem is destroyed and all the soul energy contained within is lost.
The Soul Energy Cost of the enchantment is equal to the combined costs of all the components contained within the enchantment.
The Difficulty of creating the enchantment is equal to the difficulty of the hardest component, with an additional -10 penalty for each component beyond one. Constant enchantments suffer an additional -10 penalty to this test.

Example:
Tread Lightly would be enchanted upon the cloak with a +5, However because it’s a constant, it would incur another -10, making the enchantment test at a -5 instead.

If the soul energy cost of the enchantment would exceed the maximum charge value of the item (the soul energy of the soul gem, capped at the enchantment level of the item chosen) then the enchantment cannot be created.

Step 5: Apply Enchantment

If the enchantment test is successful, apply the appropriate quality (listed below) to the now-enchanted item based on the type of enchantment chosen. The charge (and maximum charge) values are set to the soul energy of the soul gem (capped at a maximum by the enchantment level of the item chosen), and the cost is determined by the soul energy cost of the effects chosen (if applicable).
Items may normally only be enchanted once. If the enchantment test fails, the item is not enchanted and the soul gem is destroyed (and all soul energy within lost). Be sure to note the enchantment’s magic components in the item’s profile for reference.

  • Enchanted (Cast) (Cost, Charge [max])
    Items with this quality can be activated using the Cast Magic action to activate the stored magic components (which are cast like a spell with DoS equal to the level of the highest attacking component). The cost is the soul energy cost each time the effect is activated. This cost comes out of the item’s charge, which begins at (and is capped at) the maximum charge.
Name Spell Cost Charges (Max)
Cloak of Life Sight Spirit Sight 9 Soul Power 20 (20)
  • Enchanted (Strike) (Cost, Charge [max])
    Weapons with this quality apply the stored magic components every time the weapon scores a successful hit. The cost is the soul energy cost each time the effect is applied to a target. This cost comes out of the item’s charge, which begins at (and is capped at) the maximum charge.
Name Spell Cost Charges (Max)
Rod of Fire Bolt Fire Bolt 18 Soul Power 15 (15)
  • Enchanted (Constant)
    Items with this quality apply their stored magic components at the beginning of each round.
Name Spell Cost Constant
Boots of the Silent Step Tread Liightly 12 Soul Power Degrades at DM Speed

Enchanting

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