A runeforge allows the Empire to create new magic items. Creating a new magic item is normally a process that can take generations of refinement and experimentation - combining the magical materials in the right way and the right proportions is an art, not a science. A runeforge greatly speeds up this process, focusing the skills of dozens of master artisans into experimentation and research, and providing both extensive materials and expensive books or examples of existing magic items with which they can work.
A runeforge is an expensive proposition, and once complete is likely to cover an extensive area. In addition to the work areas, the runeforge will incorporate apartments for the artisans and their assistants, as well as the infrastructure needed to support them. It is also likely to include warehouses for supplies and stores, and more than likely at least one library where books and scrolls can be referenced. A place to preserve and display failed, depleted or partially-successful magic items will also prove useful.
Despite being called a "forge" it is equally possible to create any type of magic item here. A skilled tailor from a Dawnish weaver cabal will rub shoulders with a gruff Marcher smith, while an Urizen weaponsmith argues the finer points of the use of dragonbone with a League mask-maker.
When the construction is complete a new Imperial title is automatically created. The title may be either an Imperial or National position. The Senate motion should state what the title is called, and how it will be appointed. The most likely path is for an Imperial or National position to be appointed by the Imperial Senate, or through the Imperial Bourse.
In the opinion of the Constitutional Court, the power to appoint the title could not be given to the Imperial Conclave, unless that body was altered to allow the full participation of artisans. Such a change would be complex and difficult, not least because artisans cannot reach the Hall of Worlds, and would certainly require the authority of The Throne to ratify.
The runeforge can be used to create a single copy of a unique magic item. It takes six months to research a new item, which can require up to 40 materials to create. If the finished item requires more than 40 materials, it requires one extra season of work for every 20 extra materials. When the research is completed, the master of the forge is presented with a standard magic item that, as with all such items, will last for one year.
At this time, the master of the forge may choose to learn the ability to make that item for the usual experience point costs. However, the character will be unable to teach anyone else how to make the item - the ability to do so will remain theirs alone.
Instead of constructing a single copy of a magic item, the master of the forge may choose to make a schema. Creating a schema requires the master of the forge to provide one ring of ilium per ingot or measure of material required to make the item (to a minimum of 10 rings). A schema is permanent unless destroyed with Words of Ending.
A schema is a "pattern" for the new crafted item that anyone can use to learn the method of creating the item. It can also be expended with the assistance of the Imperial Senate to spread the knowledge of how to make the new item throughout the Empire.
A unique item is one that does not already exist in the magic item lists. It is likely that such an item will need to be bonded, and will be a weapon, armour, talisman or group magic item. Magic items tend to do one thing, rather than multiple types of things, and creating an item that does more than one thing is increasingly more expensive that creating an item that does one thing well. Not every ability of a magic item is equally appropriate to every kind of item, and more powerful items may prove to be prohibitively expensive in terms of time or materials required - or flat out impossible. It is worth talking to Profound Decisions about the kind of item you wish to create so that we can work together to come up with something possible that is as close as we can get to your original idea.
- Materials: 60 wains of Mithril, 60 wains of Weirwood, and 60 wains of White Granite
- Labour: 45 Thrones
- Time: 1 year
- Upkeep: Variable (see below)
The upkeep on the first runeforge would be 5 Thrones, the second 10 Thrones and the third 25 Thrones. There are a limited number of artisans in the Empire who are prepared to help with creating new items. This means that each new runeforge that is constructed will have an increasing upkeep cost - to reflect the fact that it must pay more to entice those independent artisans that remain to work there, and that it is competing for raw materials with the other runeforges.
No runeforges exist in the Empire at this time. Indeed, there have been no reliable runeforges constructed in the Empire during its history.
The runeforge is used during downtime. The player who controls the runeforge should contact Profound Decisions by e-mail (at firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to the next event with the details of the item they wish to try and create. If they want to make a schema, they will need the appropriate number of rings of ilium in their inventory. Profound Decisions will let the player know before the next event the number and type of materials required to make the new item.