I wonder if the Delayed Magic rules are different in 2nd edition.
I can't see the effective difference between an enchantment and a well -done delayed magic, except that enchantment is harder, takes more skills and costs hero points. Oh, and it's not as well explained.
(the following references HW pp 234-235)
Say I'm a humakti smith and I want a permanent +^4 on my sword. An "ordinary" humakti smith has say 17 in some sword-augmenting feat. Smart smiths do it on auspicious days and or at a temple, for a total bonus of at least 20.
As a delayed magic, the default resistance is 14. Say the narrator is a hard case, and sets the resistance at 14 + 20 for the ^4 augment, so the resistance is 14W. So...smith 17 37 AP vs. resistance 14 34 AP.
Just for fun, let's say the trigger condition on this delayed magic is "whenever I swing the unsheathed sword at someone."
If the smith completely defeats the resistance, "the spell is permanently embedded...and may be triggered over and over again." That's all for a cost of 0 HP, and a resistance of 14W. Nor does this humakti actually have to be a smith to do this effect.
Now to enchant something, it's much harder and more expensive.(following refers to HW pp. 232-233)
First, the enchanter has to know the effect to enchant and an appropriate enchanting skill. Expensive in character improvement costs.
Let's go easy on this smith and say he's going to try to enchant a bronze, not iron, sword. Base Resistance 14 + 10 for bronze = 4W.
he has to completely defeat the bronze sword with his enchant skill. Those odds are better than for the delayed magic--say his 17W 37 AP with bonuses vs 4W 24 AP for the bronze sword. BUT this is just the first contest.
Now he has to imbue the sword with a magical effect (that he knows.) Seems reasonable to assign the same difficulty as for the delayed magic above, so again we end up with a 17 vs a 14.
BUT, if the smith wins, he has to spend a hero point to cement the item. Ouch!
AND the item doesn't start with that ^4--it starts with a Target # 12, much worse. Ouch Ouch!
I guess the advantage of the enchantment is that it can't be dispelled by hostile magic. But that doesn't seem like a compelling reason to do them.
By the way, if the target number on a new enchantment always starts at 12, how are Great Items of Magical Power ever forged?
I think I'd rule that the INTENDED Target Number of the item +14 + material modifiers = the resistance. So, you can actually end up with a magic item more powerful than your personal magic, if you work the right ritual in the right place on the right day. In other words, if my Destori knows how to enchant and has Swordhelp 5W, then in the temple (+20) on Orlanth's High Holy Day (+20) using a hammer whose handle came from a lightning-struck tree (+5) = 10W3, then the Destori could shoot for an target number of around 14 + 10 bronze + 1W Target # = 5W2 resistance. That's if he's playing it safe.
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