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Author Topic: Lejendary Adventures Q&A  (Read 8192 times)

Rithuan

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« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2019, 11:40:05 AM »
I have a more mundane question, regarding the price choice for certain items and the in-world implications:
Swords and Armor
For our new readers: LA uses this $ system to assign the price to items. The amount could be easily replaced by "gold coins" once you establish that 1 gold coin = $500.

Now, the price of the swords is several times higher than the armors. For example:

Steel Plate full = $50.000
Sword = $35.000 to $100.000

My question is (because this is deliberate not a mistake), Did Gygax or anyone in the LA team explain the reason for the cost of swords?

My personal explanation is that Armors needs to be repaired after combat, and swords do not require it per rules. Although it makes sense rules-wise, it doesn't make much sense in the world.

Another explanation is taxes. Yes, I know, its a weak explanation, but it might be required to pay taxes and collect special favors to have the right to use weapons in this world. We have Noble Orders, and maybe in this fantasy setting, not everyone is allowed to have swords. Then again, why the armor or shield are not restricted is beyond me...
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 05:20:33 PM by Rithuan »

Blusponge

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« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2019, 03:06:17 PM »
I remember once when Gygax was asked about sword prices on the LA forums.  To the best of my recollection, his answer was to compare swords with cars.  The price range reflects everything from your basic sword to something incredibly ornate and even ornamental.  But I don't remember anyone drawing a comparison between armor and sword prices before.

Of course, in terms of gold ($500), we are talking a range of 70-200 gp for a sword (what kind of sword is that BTW?), and 100 gp for full steel plate.  My guess is that it has much less to do with the materials involved than the craftsmanship.  So an ornate suit of plate mail would easily command twice that price.

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Rithuan

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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2019, 05:19:07 PM »
Quote from: Blusponge;1078231
(what kind of sword is that BTW?)

I took these values from Essential p25.
Two-handed sword (Sword Cutting, heavy) $100.000
/with  Scabbard $101.000

By the way, does anyone know if there is a back up of the Lejendary forum? I have reviewed ENworld and Dragonsfoot, but I can't access the Lejendary forums.

Lunamancer

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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2019, 08:51:31 PM »
Quote from: Rithuan;1078196
My question is (because this is deliberate not a mistake), Did Gygax or anyone in the LA team explain the reason for the cost of swords?


A big thing that people often miss, this IS in the general equipment list in LR4AP, but there's a bit more detail in the Traders list in LML (pg 29). There are two other types of swords:

Sword, average, crude, cutting/hacking, $1000, and
Sword, average, crude, cutting & thrusting, $2000

The LML has a footnote that these swords break on a roll of 96-00. Keep in mind, most weapons break only on a roll of 00, and daggers and (high quality) swords break only on a 00 with a confirming die roll of 7-10 on d10 (0.4% of the time). The average/crude swords are priced around what most weapons are priced at. They break more often, but they generally have better overall stats--minimum harm, weapon precision, weapon speed. The higher quality swords are about 12.5 times more durable than the lower quality ones.

Quote
My personal explanation is that Armors needs to be repaired after combat, and swords do not require it per rules. Although it makes sense rules-wise, it doesn't make much sense in the world.


Interesting thing about that. This topic came up 2 months ago on the LA facebook group. Take a look at these two responses:

Quote from: John Healy II
If you compare the historical price of a sword with the one in LA you will find it to be rather accurate. For a knight buying a sword was the modern equivalent of buying a car or big truck.

Quote from: Christopher Clark
It doesn't work well for the rules tho' so we had a house rule that the price of weaponry was 1/10th what was listed, and the price of mounts was 1/3rd. Why? Because a party could be set for life by simply killing off a patrol of Roman Soldiers and selling their weapons and armor. It would bring enough, at going rates, to rent an 8-room luxury villa for a year! I didn't want anyone carrying a sword to be an instant target (like someone walking around with 50k jewelry proudly displayed).


They seem to be saying the opposite. That this is historical/realistic, but doesn't work well for the rules. It's kind of crazy how two different people can look at LA and see the same thing "flawed" in the exact opposite ways.

If you didn't already know, Chris Clark was like one of the main guys who wrote this game. I also strongly disagree with him on this point, and this is due to the average/crude swords I previous mentioned. I assume swords used by rank and file soldiers and rag tag bands of orcs or bandits will be of the average crude kind. You can still have that mental image of these guys using swords. Still grant them the superior combat benefits. But you avoid the problem of Avatars becoming rich off of selling swords they collect. And I consider it an added benefit. Swords breaking adds to the imagery. It makes it more likely NPCs will use their back-up weapons. But it doesn't simultaneously addle Avatars weapon breakage to the point of annoyance.

Quote
Another explanation is taxes. Yes, I know, its a weak explanation, but it might be required to pay taxes and collect special favors to have the right to use weapons in this world. We have Noble Orders, and maybe in this fantasy setting, not everyone is allowed to have swords. Then again, why the armor or shield are not restricted is beyond me...


Would an economics explanation be preferable? Prices serve a "rationing" function. The world has a very limited number of craftsmen talented enough to make these swords. There are more people who want to have the swords than there are swords to be had. So who gets them? Those who are willing and able to pay the most. Who has the most means and the most land (which produces wealth) to defend? Nobles. Yeah. They lock those things down. Whether by law, by force, or just by outbidding everyone else.

Lunamancer

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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2019, 08:56:11 PM »
Quote from: Rithuan;1078251
By the way, does anyone know if there is a back up of the Lejendary forum? I have reviewed ENworld and Dragonsfoot, but I can't access the Lejendary forums.

I'll tell you the extent of what I know about it.

Chris Smith, aka Gambit ran lejendary.com. He put a lot into it. He finally had to prioritize his family. He was in talks with Gary to work out some sort of remuneration for all the work he'd done. Gary died, and Gambit got iced out of everything. So he took the boards off line, and as far as I know he's still sitting on the backup data until someone pays him.

Rithuan

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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2019, 11:49:00 PM »
Quote from: Lunamancer;1078283
I'll tell you the extent of what I know about it.

Chris Smith, aka Gambit ran lejendary.com. He put a lot into it. He finally had to prioritize his family. He was in talks with Gary to work out some sort of remuneration for all the work he'd done. Gary died, and Gambit got iced out of everything. So he took the boards off line, and as far as I know he's still sitting on the backup data until someone pays him.

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm glad to hear that those boards weren't lost. Unfortunately,  what I have read regarding LA IP after Gygax died, it sounds possible.

I hope Gambit get the owned payment or recognition some day. I bet the postfest and discussions in that forum could fuel several hours of Lejendary discussion.

Rithuan

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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2019, 12:04:22 AM »
Quote from: Lunamancer;1078282
A big thing that people often miss, this IS in the general equipment list in LR4AP, but there's a bit more detail in the Traders list in LML (pg 29). There are two other types of swords:

There is a lot to unpack in this post, but you're again right on this account. Crude-average swords are a thing, not for Avatars (or PC for LA) since they have access to the finest equipment, but from traders.

Also, if I recall correctly, most criminals and low lives don't use swords in the BoL (or monster manual for LA). They use Spears, Bows, clubs, and Knives. So I tend to agree with your perspectives.

As you mention in a previous post, this kind of details from the setting emerges from the rules (monster stats) or equipment price. It's kind of fascinating.


Quote from: Lunamancer;1078282

Would an economics explanation be preferable? Prices serve a "rationing" function. The world has a very limited number of craftsmen talented enough to make these swords. There are more people who want to have the swords than there are swords to be had. So who gets them? Those who are willing and able to pay the most. Who has the most means and the most land (which produces wealth) to defend? Nobles. Yeah. They lock those things down. Whether by law, by force, or just by outbidding everyone else.


Although I really like this train of thought, in my mind it clashes with the price of armors. To my knowledge, it requires more materials and greater expertise. But, if we want to make one single adjustment, I would increase the price of the full steel mail and plate armor. The rest of the armors align well with the other weapons price, and allows us to keep this particular flavor that "you can't get a sword in every town."

Ah, and yes, I recognize Chris Clark! So good to know he still offers his input and wisdom for this game. Overall makes me re-think the ieda to open a facebook account.

Lunamancer

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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2019, 01:23:47 AM »
Quote from: Rithuan;1078300
There is a lot to unpack in this post, but you're again right on this account. Crude-average swords are a thing, not for Avatars (or PC for LA) since they have access to the finest equipment, but from traders.

It reminds me of an example I once read about tennis balls. Cheap tennis balls are a good thing if you're in the market so you can work on your serve.  You buy like a hundred of them so you don't have to keep chasing the ball after every serve. But if you're going to play a tennis match, you want the most expensive, highest quality tennis ball you can find. Because one ball is all you really need for the game, and it would take away from the match if the ball were defective.

I'd use the average/crude type to fight minions. A fine cut and thrust may be 12.5 times more durable, but it costs 47.5 more. But if I'm fighting a high grade warrior who's a good match, I don't need a broken sword losing the fight for me. So for those, I want only the best swords.

Quote
As you mention in a previous post, this kind of details from the setting emerges from the rules (monster stats) or equipment price. It's kind of fascinating.

Not that anyone hates it, but the original monster manual is far, far, far, far, far better a resource than most people realize. No one ever bothers to read the common monsters. Or "men". We already know that stuff. But there are such interesting details in there that implies something about the setting. And, yeah, there's some good stuff in the BoL like that, too. I like to cross over those details between game systems because they're so good.

Quote
Although I really like this train of thought, in my mind it clashes with the price of armors. To my knowledge, it requires more materials and greater expertise. But, if we want to make one single adjustment, I would increase the price of the full steel mail and plate armor. The rest of the armors align well with the other weapons price, and allows us to keep this particular flavor that "you can't get a sword in every town."

It gets tricky to compare. One of the things that comes out in actual play, assume you pay attention to such details, is the price tag is only the beginning of the cost of armor. Repairs on plate armor are $50 per point, and even that assumes only an 80% chance for successful repairs. We pretty much imagine gold coins and greenbacks gushing forth from our character's wounds every time they're hit. Full steel plate will lose as many as 13 points from a single hit. You get on average 250 attack rolls with a sword before it breaks. Of those 250, how many will hit? How much total harm will it do to armor? How much will it cost to repair that damage to armor? That's the real cost of armor.

So say half of those attacks hit. Half of those hits cause less harm than the armor's protection, the other half maxes out harm to armor. It's about 1180 harm. For sake of comparison, say you repair the armor as you go but ultimately allow it to fall into disrepair and break entirely. You'll have to spend $32,500 on repairs for 650 points, only 520 of which will be successful. 520 plus the 660 points of harm full steel plate can take gets back to the 1180. So the total cost of the armor is actually $82,500 for a life equal to the sword.

Shields are relatively cheap and generally not worth repairing. So we've learned to think of shields as something that protects the armor.

Quote
Ah, and yes, I recognize Chris Clark! So good to know he still offers his input and wisdom for this game. Overall makes me re-think the ieda to open a facebook account.

Dwight, who went by the name Kersus on lejendary.com, has been maintaining his own message board where he's kept an LA forum alive. He began a new group for LA on MeWe. Not a lot of activity over there yet, though.

Rithuan

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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2019, 06:38:47 PM »
Thanks for the full analysis. Its a great breakdown of the expenses to maintain an armor (and maybe the necessity to have a cheaper sword at hand for lower foes). For future reference, LML (or DM guide) page 28 and 122 for further details in repair armors and weapons.

I have two additional questions (and yes, I love the chance to ask and receive answers the same week!)

Theurgy and Materials
There is a confusing line in the LR4AP (or players handbook) regarding the propitiation and votive materials. (p168)

"In addition to recording what propitiation and votive materials are necessary, each Invocation, Rite and Power possessed must be recorded on a Theurgy Memory tablet." Does this mean that propitiation and votive materials use a slot in the Memory Tablet?  I don't believe it since they are physical materials, but I just wanted to be 100% sure.

Crafting extraordinary items and alchemy
Does any of you have experience in this subject (in Lejendary Adventures, of course!). I have so many questions on this subject. I want to compare notes, mostly on the difficulties of the process and the number of abilities required.

Atsuku Nare

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« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2019, 11:41:14 AM »
Quick question: is there any compiled errata and/or FAQ for the LA books? My Google-Fu is weak on this matter.
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Rithuan

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« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2019, 12:20:41 PM »
Quote from: Atsuku Nare;1078454
Quick question: is there any compiled errata and/or FAQ for the LA books? My Google-Fu is weak on this matter.

That's a great question. I know one FAQ and a few errata.
The Dragonsfoot FAQ is available here: https://www.dragonsfoot.org/la/articles/faq.shtml

For the errata, you have to dive into the internet archives of the original lejendary adventures website. You can find a "Lmerrata", "Ordererrata" and the "Playererrata" as pdf.

However, to my knowledge, they don't contain the latest post from Gary's in Dragonsfoot or Enworld.

Lunamancer

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« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2019, 03:42:58 PM »
Quote from: Rithuan;1078402
"In addition to recording what propitiation and votive materials are necessary, each Invocation, Rite and Power possessed must be recorded on a Theurgy Memory tablet." Does this mean that propitiation and votive materials use a slot in the Memory Tablet?  I don't believe it since they are physical materials, but I just wanted to be 100% sure.


Yes, you are correct. They are materials. They must be selected among your initial equipment picks and recorded on the Avatar sheet. But they are not recorded on memory tablets. They are necessary to perform an invocation, which in turn is necessary to perform a rite.

Quote
Crafting extraordinary items and alchemy
Does any of you have experience in this subject (in Lejendary Adventures, of course!). I have so many questions on this subject. I want to compare notes, mostly on the difficulties of the process and the number of abilities required.


One thing I'd say, and I say the same thing about D&D. Take a look at the list of powers Avatars can learn. Then look at the list of extraordinary items in the LML. You'll notice some items do things there's no power for. And there are powers for which there is no corresponding item. I mention this because one thing a lot of people seem to expect is that you'll create magic items by piecing powers together like a puzzle. Na. It's a bit hand-wavey. There are a selection of powers you need to create an extraordinary item.

The Abilities required are Arcana, Evaluation, Learning, and Metallurgy. This is in addition to either Enchantment or Geourgy, depending what sort of item is being created. The principal ability for the check is Metallurgy--the probability of success is 10% of Metallurgy plus 5% of each of the other abilities. Note that Metallurgy is specifically mentioned under the armor repair section as being necessary for the repair of extraordinary armor. Even non-metal armor. So for creating most extraordinary objects, even non-metal ones, metallurgy would be the main ability. Just call it a badly-named Ability. I believe it's intended to be the equivalent of Heka-Forging from the Dangerous Journeys RPG.

For things such at magical herbs, ointments, boluses, ambrosias, potions, and so forth, that would obviously call for Alchemia as the chief Ability. I would not require Metallurgy for these items. I would allow a Mage who does not possess Alchemia to hire an Alchemist.

One thing that might strike people as peculiar. As far as how it's spelled out in LML, you need either Enchantment or Geourgy to create extraordinary items. You can't do it if you only possess Theurgy, or only Necrourgy, or only Sorcery. I don't think that was a mistake. Even if you want to house rule them in, you'd be missing the half dozen or so dedicated powers they should have for creating extraordinary items. So you'd have to figure out something with that.

But I generally just assume it's going to be mainly NACs who are making magic items. NAC's with Extraordinary Abilities often do have multiple Extraordinary Abilities. One with Necrourgy and Enchantment, for example, would be able to make "Necrourgy" items.

Lunamancer

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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2019, 03:49:36 PM »
Quote from: Atsuku Nare;1078454
Quick question: is there any compiled errata and/or FAQ for the LA books? My Google-Fu is weak on this matter.


There are both.

A caveat, though. The "errata" was mostly new materials and updates. And the "FAQ" still gets a lot of things wrong. You can imagine the challenge of people who didn't understand what Gary was saying the first time also not understanding what he's saying the second time.

Lejendary FAQ
Lejendary Errata

Rithuan

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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2019, 06:51:23 PM »
Thank you for the answers and the links to the old errata. Who knows? We might create an updated version after a few more post o this thread.

So, regarding alchemy and extraordinary objects, there is a lot to unpack on my end. This is by far the hardest thing to understand, and due to my preference for Alchemy in RPGs, one that comes close to my dearest subject.

Your post provides an insight of the process, the skills associated and the activations (or Spells as they are called in LA).

Quote
The Abilities required are Arcana, Evaluation, Learning, and Metallurgy. This is in addition to either Enchantment or Geourgy, depending what sort of item is being created. The principal ability for the check is Metallurgy--the probability of success is 10% of Metallurgy plus 5% of each of the other abilities. Note that Metallurgy is specifically mentioned under the armor repair section as being necessary for the repair of extraordinary armor. Even non-metal armor. So for creating most extraordinary objects, even non-metal ones, metallurgy would be the main ability. Just call it a badly-named Ability. I believe it's intended to be the equivalent of Heka-Forging from the Dangerous Journeys RPG.

For things such at magical herbs, ointments, boluses, ambrosias, potions, and so forth, that would obviously call for Alchemia as the chief Ability. I would not require Metallurgy for these items. I would allow a Mage who does not possess Alchemia to hire an Alchemist.


I understood the same regarding Alchemia if its consumable item. Mechanics is mentioned if its permanent object, and the rule inlcude Metallurgic (or shall we call it Lejendary-Forge) for all rolls. But I agree with your ruling, and not use Metallurgic for potions and bolus.


Quote
One thing that might strike people as peculiar. As far as how it's spelled out in LML, you need either Enchantment or Geourgy to create extraordinary items. You can't do it if you only possess Theurgy, or only Necrourgy, or only Sorcery. I don't think that was a mistake. Even if you want to house rule them in, you'd be missing the half dozen or so dedicated powers they should have for creating extraordinary items. So you'd have to figure out something with that.

But I generally just assume it's going to be mainly NACs who are making magic items. NAC's with Extraordinary Abilities often do have multiple Extraordinary Abilities. One with Necrourgy and Enchantment, for example, would be able to make "Necrourgy" items.


I understood the same here. And this creates two new questions for me:
1) Would you require "Theurgy" as an additional skill to create an item similar to Bolus of Health (LML, p51)?
2) Would you allow cooperation? Let's say you dont posess Theourgy, but a Priest help you in the process of creating this extraordinary object? (After all, you end up using 6 or 7 diferent skills!)

Quote
I mention this because one thing a lot of people seem to expect is that you'll create magic items by piecing powers together like a puzzle. Na. It's a bit hand-wavey. There are a selection of powers you need to create an extraordinary item.

Yes, this is a good reminder. rules-wise and in the spirit of the rules. Also, open a can of worms for me. The required activations to start the process.

Enchantments and Geourgy have several activations for this. However, these activations require a second roll. So, my question here is:
3) How many rolls do you need to create an object and when do you roll them?
1- Original Activation (For example Amalgamate Vegetable Energy, LR4AP p66)
2- Extraordinary Item creation (the roll at the end of Amalgamate Vegetable Energy)
3- Enchantment per se (descibed in LML p117)

Lunamancer

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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2019, 09:19:51 PM »
Quote from: Rithuan;1078500
Thank you for the answers and the links to the old errata. Who knows? We might create an updated version after a few more post o this thread.

If we can somehow manage to gather an active community again, I'd write it myself. It's really not an easy thing to write, but I've been fielding these questions for nearly 20 years now. I've gotten better and better at answering them over time, to the point where I have a fairly clear as to what needs to be communicated for most questions. Not so much the Extraordinary Items, though, because not a lot of people ask about that, and I think they're generally just handwaved away, assumed to be created by NACs.

Quote
So, regarding alchemy and extraordinary objects, there is a lot to unpack on my end. This is by far the hardest thing to understand, and due to my preference for Alchemy in RPGs, one that comes close to my dearest subject.

I've given consumables a lot of extra thoughts for a couple of reasons. One, I like the old hag trope. An old lady who lives on the edge of town, or some remote hut in the woods. Whether she's good, evil, helpful or baneful, that I vary. By individual woman, but also at times by how Avatars treat her. Almost all of them are skilled herbalists, but that is often mixed with other extraordinary abilities.

The other reason, though, is I think back to when I started playing D&D as a kid. Even before I actually owned any books and was just drawing dungeon maps on construction paper. I didn't yet know what a cleric was (and even when I got the basic set, they don't get spells until 2nd level). The idea of having a "healer" in the party was foreign. Healing potions were necessary to keep the game moving forward. The more I think about it, it's not just nostalgia, or that we were ignorant and less discerning when we were younger. Or that the whole thing was new. Some of the things we did back then are just plain better/more fun than how adults play. And one of the neat things about the healing potion dynamic is that when you're hurt, back then a lot of time we got to thinking we just need to plow through the next encounter. They may have a healing potion. It tended to keep things moving. And more exciting because often the best strategy was NOT playing it safe.

Now, of course, i still am a crusty old adult. I can't go back completely. So I need some plausible explanation for healing potions everywhere. So I decided to just stretch a bit the medicinal properties of herbs, decided herbalists would be more common, that they infuse them with a bit o' magic, but not so much that it requires a powerful practitioner or anything the caliber of D&D. So again, the old hag trope works great. Yeah. I'm big on herbalists in my game.

Quote
I understood the same regarding Alchemia if its consumable item. Mechanics is mentioned if its permanent object, and the rule inlcude Metallurgic (or shall we call it Lejendary-Forge) for all rolls. But I agree with your ruling, and not use Metallurgic for potions and bolus.

I was trying to keep it brief. Yes. Mechanics is mentioned. What I described (which does not include mechanics) is the process of infusing the magic into the item. Mechanics comes into play because the item itself has to be flawless. So if it's steel armor being crafted for magical enchantment, it takes both Mechanics and Metallurgy, weekly checks, and even one failed check means having to scrap the whole thing and start over. How many checks is that in all? Depends on the item.

There's all that, plus the infusion probability. The infusion probability is also a one-shot check. Though if it fails, I might allow for a successful luck check to give one re-roll.

I would also require individual activations. I'd give a 24 hour window for regular activations. Failed activations are permissible so long as you have the AEPs to finish the job. Thus having higher Ability score and greater AEPs is necessary for more powerful items. Naturally.

So in other words, there are three steps. Steps 1 and 3 may require quite a few checks. Step 2 is the main gatekeeper though and it's one shot, pass or fail.

Quote
I understood the same here. And this creates two new questions for me:
1) Would you require "Theurgy" as an additional skill to create an item similar to Bolus of Health (LML, p51)?
2) Would you allow cooperation? Let's say you dont posess Theourgy, but a Priest help you in the process of creating this extraordinary object? (After all, you end up using 6 or 7 diferent skills!)

Enchanters have a power called Convey Energy. It's a highly potent healing spell. In terms of AEP efficiency, you're better off using the Theurgy Heal power to recover harm of 25 or less. For higher than that, Convey Energy is a much better power. Point being, Enchanters certainly can produce healing effects.

As to cooperation of activators, I tend to want to limit this. I like the idea of out-sourcing Alchemy ability. That was in the 1E magic item creation rules, too. When MU's first become able to create potions, they need to hire an alchemist. At higher levels, they can do it all themselves. I think out-sourcing the creation of the item is perfectly kosher, too. Like if you wanted to have a special armorer create the armor. Just keep in mind, this would have to be a very special armorer, one with Metallurgy--a heka-forger, if you will. But when it comes time to infuse the power, it's dependent upon one Avatar's several abilities. Considering what I mentioned above about my personal campaign, that I like the campaign's magic items to skew towards consumables, and I like having herbalists all around--you can understand why I "house rule" Alchemia as an exception to this. But that's not to say this sort of think should be always permissible.

Now I could see multiple activators cooperating if through some magic device they are able to channel their activation energy. Per my step 3 above, having those extra AEPs is key to making more powerful items.