Magic Item Use

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Magic Item Use (MIU) is the skill associated with the use of magical items. Training this skill will increase the character's ability to activate items as well as the duration of activated magic. Additionally, training in MIU lends success with tasks related to the use of magical items, abilities, and spells (including the runestaff), and will increase casting strength (CS) and provide maneuver defense on warding and maneuver bonus spells, respectively. MIU is one of the cheapest skills available for members of pure professions.

Type Square Semi Pure
Profession Rogue Warrior Monk Bard Paladin Ranger Cleric Empath Savant Sorcerer Wizard
Max Ranks Per Level 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 - 2 2
Training Point Cost 0/8 0/8 0/7 0/4 0/5 0/5 0/2 0/2 - 0/2 0/1

Activating Magic Items

The following verbs can be used to activate a magic item. Each item responds to a particular action by releasing the magic within. In general, common sense can be used to determine the appropriate action (food items are eaten, liquids drank, worn items tapped or rubbed, wands & rods waved or raised). Otherwise, consult a loresinger or utilize trial and error methods.

Activator Verb Skill Required Activator Skill Modifier Activator Duration Modifier
Tap MIU + 25 50%
Rub MIU 0 100%
Wave MIU 0 100%
Raise MIU - 40 133%
Eat None N/A Base only
Drink None N/A Base only
  • Only wave can be used to target others (WAVE AT {target}). All other verbs initiate their effect immediately upon activation.
  • Scrolls utilize the Arcane Symbols skill. The INVOKE (verb) is used to access their magic.
  • Certain items do not require a skill check, regardless of the activator verb (e.g. small statues & heavy quartz orbs).

Calculating Success

Executing the appropriate verb to activate a magic item will make an attempt at activation. The character's stats, skills and other relevant variables (as seen in the formula below) are factored together. This total is displayed as the "modifiers" value. A d100 roll is then added, and if the total is greater than 100, the activation is successful.

Modifiers = (MIU Skill bonus) + (Activator Skill Modifier) + (Stat Modifier)
+ (Magical Knowledge Bonus) + (INTUITION bonus) + (LOGIC bonus)
- (Spell Level * 5) - (Armor Penalty) - (Encumbrance Penalty)
  • The inherent magical hindrance of armor can also potentially cause activations to fail.
  • One must possess at least as many ranks of MIU as the level of the spell to be activated in order to succeed.

'Morbo' is a wizard with 50 ranks of MIU (150 skill bonus). Using Magic Item Creation (420), he has placed the Elemental Wave (410) spell into an amulet and selected rub as the activator. Morbo is not encumbered, and has removed his armor for the time being. He has an Aura bonus of +20, a Logic bonus of +10 and an Intuition bonus of +10. He then makes an attempt at activating his amulet.

(150) + (0) + (40) + (60) + (10) + (10) - (50) = 220

Morbo was easily able to activate his amulet successfully, regardless of the d100 roll. Then, a friend hands him a rod with Lesser Shroud (120) which he attempts to activate. His Wisdom bonus is 10, and raise is used to activate it.

(150) + (-40) + (20) + (0) + (10) + (10) - (100) = 50

Morbo would have needed a d100 roll of 51 or greater to activate a rod with the spell Lesser Shroud successfully. Unfortunately, the rod actually contained the spell Disintegrate (705), causing his head to melt rather abruptly.

Stat Modifier

Stat modifiers are determined by the associated spell circle activated and the activation verb. For this table, use stat bonus and not the value of the stat itself (round down).

Spell Circle Wave Rub Tap Raise
100s Minor Spiritual WISDOM WISDOM x 2 WISDOM x 2 WISDOM x 2
200s Major Spiritual WISDOM ÷ 2 WISDOM WISDOM WISDOM
300s Cleric Base WISDOM ÷ 2 WISDOM † WISDOM † WISDOM †
400s Minor Elemental AURA AURA x 2 AURA x 2 AURA x 2
500s Major Elemental AURA ÷ 2 AURA AURA AURA
700s Sorcerer Base (WIS + AUR) ÷ 4 (WIS + AUR) ÷ 2 (WIS + AUR) ÷ 2 (WIS + AUR) ÷ 2
900s Wizard Base AURA ÷ 4 AURA AURA AURA
1000s Bard Base AURA † AURA † AURA † AURA †
1100s Empath Base WISDOM ÷ 2 WISDOM † WISDOM † WISDOM †
1700s Arcane (AUR + WIS +LOG) ÷ 3 (AUR + WIS +LOG) ÷ 3 (AUR + WIS + LOG) ÷ 3 (AUR + WIS + LOG) ÷ 3

† Not yet confirmed.

Magical Knowledge Bonus

Whether or not the spell to be activated lies within a character's sphere of magical knowledge can enhance the possibility of success.

Character has direct knowledge of the spell to be activated,
regardless of whether or not they can cast it yet
Character can learn spells from the same circle of the spell to be activated,
but has not trained that rank yet
Character can learn spells from the same sphere of the spell to be activated,
but cannot directly train from the same circle
Character has no influence in the spell's sphere 0
  • Warriors and rogues are not magical enough to claim influence in any sphere; they receive bonuses for both minor circles and none for all others.
  • Hybridists (bards, empaths, and sorcerers) are considered aligned with multiple spheres, and receive bonuses accordingly.
  • When activating magic from a hybrid circle, it is considered "within a known sphere" by characters fluent in either sphere. For example, sorcerer magic is partially elemental, therefore a wizard would receive the full +20 bonus for their affiliation with the elemental sphere.

Armor Penalty

Not being adequately trained for worn armor may penalize a character's attempt to activate certain magical items. This penalty is based on the armor's Roundtime adder and the wearer's Armor Use skill. There is no armor penalty to the activation roll if the character is properly trained, or is wearing robes or light leather. The penalty for AsG 6 (full leather) and higher is 20 points per second of untrained RT adder. The formula for calculating the amount of armor use skill required to fully negate the penalty is (RT adder * 20) - 10.

Note: Armor penalties do not apply when using the tap or rub activators.

Encumbrance Penalty

Encumbrance will reduce the activation modifiers when using WAVE AND RAISE by 1 pt. for each 1% of encumbered body weight. E.g., a halfling with a body weight of 120 lbs. and 24 lbs. of encumbered weight will see a reduction to their activation modifiers of 20. (24 / 120 = .20 or 20%). There are NO encumbrance penalties when activating an item with the RUB and TAP verbs.

Encumbrance penalty calculation:

Penalty = 100 * (encumbered weight / character's body weight)

Calculating Duration

To calculate the duration of a spell's magical effect when initiated from a magical item, use the following formula. The overall duration is modified depending upon the activating verb. The more challenging activation verbs offer longer duration modifiers. Activating spells from magical items provides half of the normal duration.

Duration = (Base Duration ÷ 2) + [(MIU Ranks) × Activator Duration Modifier × (Per Spell Rank Duration ÷ 2)]

Morbo has 50 ranks of MIU and activates an item with the Spirit Shield spell. The base duration of Spirit Shield is 1200 sec, and an additional duration of 60 sec for each Major Spiritual spell rank known.

  • Tap:
600 + (50 × 0.5 × 30) = 1350 sec
  • Rub & Wave:
600 + (50 × 1 × 30) = 2100 sec
  • Raise:
600 + (50 × [4/3] × 30) = 2300 sec
600 sec only

Casting Strength and Maneuver Bonuses

This section is a work in progress!
Applicable Spells
All warding spells Call Wind (912)
Elemental Wave (410) Sandstorm (914)
Major Elemental Wave (435) Earthen Fury (917)
Call Swarm (615) Lullabye (1005)
Spike Thorn (616) Song of Noise (1017)
Grasp of the Grave (709) Force Projection (1207)
Table provided by GM Viduus

As of August 2017, Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols ranks are treated as effective spell circle ranks for the purposes of calculating Casting Strength (CS) for warding spells or offensive bonus on maneuver-based spells when activating a spell from a magic item or scroll at the ratios shown below.

Ranger Base, Bard Base, and Paladin Base bonuses are halved in all cases.

These bonuses do not stack with natural Spell Research bonuses to CS and offensive maneuver spells — the higher bonus takes precedence.

CS Calculation

Activating a warding spell from a magic item or scroll will grant a CS bonus similar to spell ranks using the following formula:

CS Per AS/MIU Rank Limit
0.75 Up to level
0.5 Up to 2x level
0.33 Over 2x level

While Mystic Focus is active, warding spells from the Elemental (MnE, MjE, Wizard, Bard) and Sorcerer spheres receive a further bonus based on the caster's Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols skill, depending on whether the subsequent warding spell is cast from a magic item or a scroll. The Elemental/Sorcerer sphere bonus does not stack with Elemental Targeting (425).

Maneuver Roll Calculation

Spell maneuver bonuses are sphere/spell specific, but generally follow the pattern of:

Bonus Per AS/MIU Rank Limit
0.5 Up to level
0.33 Up to 2x level
0.1 Over 2x level

Lore Effects

A character may train in Elemental, Mental, or Spiritual Lores to gain the same lore benefits for spells activated by Magic Item Use or Arcane Symbols (as applicable) as through native casting (learned via Spell Research), with different training requirements depending on the type of spell circle (Minor, Major, or Profession). When activating an item to cast a Minor Circle spell, all trained lore ranks will count and thus the potential lore benefits are identical as native casting. Major spell circles (Major Elemental and Major Spiritual) require double the lore ranks to unlock the same bonuses (i.e. only half of the ranks will count towards lore benefits). Profession circles (Bard Base, Cleric Base, Empath Base, Paladin Base, Ranger Base, Savant Base, Sorcerer Base, and Wizard Base) require triple the training (i.e. only one third of the ranks will count towards lore benefits).

A spell cast using a spell knowledge item will receive the full benefit for all applicable Lore ranks regardless of the type of spell circle.

Mana Control Effects

A character may also train in Elemental, Spiritual, or Mental Mana Controls to gain applicable additional benefits from spells activated by Magic Item Use. Mana control training is counted fully when the spell cast through the item is a native learned spell to the character's profession, a minor circle spell, or known through a spell knowledge enhancive item. When the spell is a major circle or unknown profession base spell, only half of the pertinent mana control ranks count toward the effect of the spell activated.