Charge Item (guide)

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So here goes my attempt to making the spell Charge Item more useful to people. The following text is not so much a guide, but more so my functionalist ideal about how the spell works. Mind you I get the spell to work quite well for myself, while most others do not. Anything I am stating I do not claim to be “factual”, but rather my observations after extensive research and use. This is also written from the perspective of being a dedicated “Charger”, though one can certainly use the spell without being dedicated.

Success Factors

On the Gemstone IV website the following is given as success factors. I find these to be a bit misleading, but they might not seem so to most. Why? Let us break this down a bit more.

This is something that should be 2x’d just for the mere cost of it. It affects quite a few things such as using magic items (overtraining allows use while encumbered), charging, and runestaff DS. 0/3 well spent in my eyes.
I count this as a core skill for charging for 2 reasons. The first reason being it is needed to use the spell with minimal risk. It has been stated that this skill directly affects all types of charging. Secondly, it reduces the cost penalty for out of circle spells. I currently can’t find the person who posted it (I am looking though), but his research showed that every 10 ranks dropped the out of circle spell penalty by 1. We will go into this a bit more later on. As a side benefit you also get a hefty bonus to mana regeneration, and it allows for better use of the Mana Leech spell.
I personally see no real benefit from training in the 500’s so far. It was stated that this offset the outside spell penalty also. However, applying what was posted, this doesn’t match my data. If things change, so will this section ;)
  • Workshop
I’ve never used a workshop, since I have no need of one. So I can’t factually speak on this.

Now there are a few things left out that I think as crucial to using charge at its max potential. Charge is 100% limited by level. By this I mean you can only train so many times in a given skill per level. Thus the higher level you are, the easier it is to charge, in theory. Indulge me if you would please..

This is the second most important skill for charging to me. How much mana you can hold is critical to safe charging. Without a large mana store or a lot of friends, doing anything more then lower spell level wands will be difficult. I will go into this more in detail later in the “Process” step. If you wish to charge as more then a hobby, you should 2x this skill. It is not needed, but will help you immensely. It only costs 0/12, however, some will criticize that the 1 extra mana isn’t worth the cost. I choose to look at it not from a TP perspective, but rather see that at 50th level I have 50 more mana then a 1x’r, and know my regen is a bit better then them. I also get 2 runestaff DS bits, compared to their one. As I said, this is just how I see it.
  • Friends
No good charger is without friends. One or two friends can mean the difference between charging 9 wands and 16 wands. Having a cleric who can cast Well of Life is also beneficial in some instances. I think this subject is quite obvious, so let me move on to the failures.

Failure Factors

On the Gemstone IV website the following are given as failure factors. Extraordinary failure has been known to result in loss of Mana Points (MPs), injury, and even possibly the destruction of the item. Use Charge Item at your own risk.

  • Spell level
The higher the spell, the more mana required, and thus more difficult. The difficulty really comes into play with the outer spell penalty. This means that higher level spells that are out of circle can cost 2 or even 3 times as much mana to add one charge. This means you will need more EMC in order to reduce the overall mana cost to approach base cost.
  • Knowledge of the spell
Pretty much what it says, “Do you know how to cast “X” spell”. In circle is a 1:1 mana cost, profession specific are 2:1 mana cost, and the 100/200 spell circle’s are 3:1 mana cost.
  • Number of charges already in item
I believe that either the 500’s spell circle or MIU is the main factor in this area. Basically the more charges that are in an item, the higher the difficulty to finish filling it. This can be VERY problematic with higher end spells, especially when it’s an out of circle item and one isn’t properly trained for charging. Taking an item to the Reach to be charged can actually be more harmful then helpful for this reason. Not only does it put more strain on the first rub, but each additional rub will also be subject to having a higher then normal charge penalty also. This also helps to reinforce the HP requirement.

As for the catastrophic destruction, I’ve yet to destroy anything, but we’ve all heard the horror stories about someone blowing up deathstone earrings or some other such item, haven’t we. I have managed to “green” (meaning make it worthless for magic or pawnshop) a blue crystal once, but I was purposefully trying to find my limits during testing.


Items that are Chargeable, and what it takes to do them

All rechargeable items have something I call a “ManaCap” (Min. mana required to fully charge an item with a specific spell in it). This “ManaCap” is done by taking the spell level and multiplying it by 40. As a dedicated charger this is an essential thing to understand. I also feel that this is where most people see it as “broken”.

Lets get the “ManaCaps” for some common/everyday items out of the way shall we:

Wand Type Spell Level Spell Mana Caps
Iron Wand 1st Level Minor Shock (901) 40
Silver Wand 1st Level Minor Shock (901) 40
Aqua Wand 3rd Level Minor Water (903) 120
Gold Wand 6th Level Minor Fire (906) 240
Metal Wand 7th Level Major Cold (907) 280
Slender Blue Wand 24th Level Minor Cold (1709) 960
Crystal Wand 26th Level Major Acid (1710) 1040
Oak Wand 8th Level Stun Relief (108) 320
Blue Crystal 17th Level Spirit Strike (117) 680
Ruby Amulet 40th Level Wall of Force (140) 1600
Bloodwood Wand 1st Level Blood Burst (701) 40
Twisted Wand 2nd Level Mana Disruption (702) 80
Bone Wand 5th Level Disintegrate (705) 200
Glass Wand 6th Level Mind Jolt (706) 240
Thanot Wand 8th Level Limb Disruption (708) 320
Small Statue 17th Level Spirit Guard (1712) 480

Now that the above is laid out, anyone should quickly be able to figure out what s/he can and can’t do, and what s/he should not even bother with. Mind you all of these numbers are WITHOUT even taking into account the out of circle spell penalty. 3120 mana for a Ruby Amulet anyone?

So this is where part of my secret comes into play, and I will only be giving out part of my secret, the rest you can figure out by reading this text. A while back I recall seeing that the first 2 rubs were a “freebie” when using charge. In other words, if you are trained with the minimal skills for what you are attempting you should be safe for the first 2 rubs. After the 2nd rub, your chance of harming/degrading the item becomes increasingly easier.

So when I charge I will ONLY do things I can do in 1 or 2 rubs. I think this is key to my success. I do rub a third time after filling them to make sure I am at a full 40 charges. I believe this also to put a bit of strain on the orb too. I have now come to find this to be true, extra rubs on the orb DO add strain to the orb, and WILL reduce your charging time.

Preparation and Setup

This part is the simplest, but can be different for everyone. All you need is the following:

  • An orb gem
This is quite easy enough to come by, but I suggest you use something of 5k or more value. This is the “true” value, and not an “appraised” value using the gemshop. Trading and Influence can drastically alter the worth, and that isn’t acceptable to me. Have a lovely/wonderful bard sing to your gem to find out the loresong value for you. I recommend a diamond or emerald since they are by far the easiest of the higher end gems find. Currently only a bard can tell you if it’s an orb gem or not. I do not count cleric blindly casting “Holy Receptacle” at a gem, a good way of testing orbie goodness.
  • Grot t'kel Potion
Sold at your local alchemist, which gives you a wonderful 4 pour potion. I tend to buy 2, pour 1 into the other so it has 7 pours total. Then I use the last pour for the orb gem, makes life easier, and only counts as 1 item when doing a check on your 500 item limit. You can also check out www.playershops.com for potions also. Some may find it cheaper buying it out of a (PRS) Player Run Shop. The Grot potion will ready the orb gem for charging.
  • Items to recharge
Be over prepared when you get ready to charge. If you think you’re only going to do 12 wands, have a 13th or 14th as a just in case kinda thing. An active orb without an item to charge is no fun, and sometimes you may squeak out an extra item, or just a few more charges.
  • A decent mana supply
This can be the bane of some would be chargers. Without mana you cannot charge an item, plain as that. So if you are planning on doing a golden wand and you only hold 200 mana, your results may be less then spectacular, unless you have a friend or two to send to you. This can be alleviated by leveling and getting more HP and EMC (for regen). People will also be able to send more mana to you at once also, which as I stated above can be a very good thing.

The Process

So now you’re ready to try this right? Well, lets get this going shall we. I will break this down a bit for ease. We start with getting the gem ready.

  • Get your orb gem out, again I say anything over 5k.
  • Get your grot potion out, and type “pour my grot potion on my <gem type>”. Gem type of course means diamond, ruby, pearl, or whatever is in your hand. You will then get the following messaging: “You carefully work the liquid in until it is all absorbed.” If you did not get the above something went wrong, and you will need to check it out.
  • Put the potion away, get as unencumbered as you can, and I suggest putting something in your left hand that IS NOT chargeable. This is to hamper any type of mistakes by grabbing 2 wands at a time. I always do this.
  • Cast the spell! That’s right you're ready. Prepare the spell, and cast if at the <gem type> you are holding. It will magically turn into a pulsating orb, but be careful cause it’s not safe yet. The initial casting of the charge spell will cost you 17 mana like it should, but you must bring the orb to “—to be inserted later—“ before you can proceed. You will get the following messaging if it’s not “—to be inserted later—“. To get it back to full strength, you need only cast charge (517) at the orb, which will now cost only 1 mana per cast till the orb poofs.
  • Get the item you are recharging (I will be using “wand” as a generic term for this) and make sure it is in your right hand. This is one of the reasons I hold something in my left hand. Then rub the orb. You should get one of the following messages:
  • “glows with a bright hue as the fingers of essence caress it.”
This is the good to go message, it means you’ve added mana into the wand. It’s up to you to understand how much mana is needed. Using the table above with ManaCaps would be a good idea.
  • “You are unable to add any more charges.”
You’ve reached either the ManaCap for the item, or you have gotten the item to the highest your skill level will allow.
  • “Missing green messaging”
You’ve either severely under trained for this level of an item, or you vastly encumbered, or perhaps both working together.
  • Make sure to always have a bit of mana in reserve. If the orb shrinks you can instantly bring it back to full power. Leaving the orb under full power can have negative effects on the time it will stay around. Having reread what I’ve saved over the years, it seems it may actually be beneficial to cast charge at the orb even when at full strength. I have not tested this, but plan to very shortly. If I find it works better for me, I will change this section.


Skill Sets

I was told by my grammatical helper that this might be useful to some so that they may see what they are in for. There’s really nothing to spectacular about a charging build, but just to appease him, lets see the difference between a dabbler (1x), an in-circle charger (1.5x), and a pure charger (2x).

  • The dabbler (1x)
0/8 - Spell Research (500’s)
0/1 – Magic Item Use
0/4 – Harness Power
0/4 – Mana Control - Elemental
0/17 In total. This is rather cheap, but your skill reflects just that. Of course these skill factor into other things also, but that’s not something to chat about here. I can only think this type of setup would be worth it in the very later levels of the game.
  • The in-circle charger (1.5x)
0/8 - Spell Research (500’s) I do not see a need to 1.5 or 2x this at this time.
0/2 – Magic Item Use
0/8 – Harness Power
0/8 – Mana Control – Elemental
0/26 In total. Again this isn’t very much to invest overall. The mana at cap would be 50 more then a dabbler, and the regen would be only 5 more. You would also be getting 5.5 bits of Runedux (I also make up words) too. Compared to dabbler, I see this setup as a very viable charger early on as long as he is fully aware of his limits.
  • The pure charger (2.0x)
0/8 - Spell Research (500’s) I do not see a need to 1.5 or 2x this at this time.
0/3 – Magic Item Use
0/12 – Harness Power
0/12 – Mana Control – Elemental
0/35 In total. This is a good amount of training point invested, but the other effects of doing it can also be beneficial in some ways. (IE: Leeching, mana regen) With this build, the only thing that can limit you is your level. Your mana will grow quickly enough to allow to do higher end items, and your EMC will allow you to go out of circle quite early in life. I of course would on a few extra things such as perception and trading, but this is personal decision, and not something that is directly associated to charging in of itself.

So there you have it, my lack luster attempt and education over a 3 day period 1 hour at a time. Special thank currently go to Gordd, for helping me make it more readable, and with less Jinsemism’s to battle through ;)

Jinsem V 0.3 I take zero responsibility for any changes when posted anywhere but here on the boards. Special thanks to Gordd editing help.