Are you a Affluent Archmagus?

Do you not have the time to be bothered building a top notch to die for Laboratory? Do you wish you could buy your way into a Specialized Lab with bonuses galore? Too much vis and silver but not enough patience? Then let us be of service to you. Our team can build any Laboratory you can dream up for the right price.

Okay this is a silly way to start the conversation, but it glibly describes the idea I had today.

A traveling group of Laboratory builders.
Just imagine, a mage or two (or more), a assortment of apprentices, skilled architects and craftsmen, and a few foremen.
A couple of wagons. One wagon a traveling lab far larger inside than out, geared to produce magic items for lighting and heat and ect.

I guess I was going to see just what and who would you need in the core group of travelers to make something like this work.

I even had the thought that perhaps this group has been around for a few hundred years, masters training apprentices to carry on the business so to speak. Going from one Covenant to another offering to the wealthy and powerful, or even just the wealthy and desperate, to make the best Lab their wealth in vis and money could buy.

I started with:

Master Magus, smart and powerful and probably a Verditius for the special magics. (I had the idea that for his final project he put a curtain up across a doorway and invited his fellow Verditius to enter. Upon going inside they looked around and saw a fairly small standard Lab. Unimpressed they walked out muttering their disappointment, at which point the apprentice removes the curtain to show it was a tiny closet sized box with a door... only fantasy I know, but still an amusing story for me)

Perhaps a second or third mage depending on how big the operation had become.

One of the mages, probably the Master, would have the architecture skills to formulate the plans of the lab.

Would need either a mage or a very skilled foreman to maintain the mundane aspects of the project and keep the workers on their marks.

Three or four pprentices to do a lot of the drudgery work and keeping small projects going.

At least two masons and two carpenters. Could get by with one mason and two carpenters I suppose. And each of them having say two to four direct underlings that were trained to carry out detailed work or instruct laborers.

Teamsters to drive the wagons. Armed guards?

I guess you could get labor at the site as well as some material, but I was thinking that since the have a traveling Lab why not carry an assortment of Lab items for the benefactor to choose from and a gallery of possible items that could be made.

Magi focus on Longevity potions, and item making, and books. So why not Laboratories. Because what up and coming future Archmagus wants to spend years making a knock-your-socks-off Lab when they could just pay someone else to do it and simply walk in and make it their own in a season or two?

Thoughts or ideas? Also what other professions or persons would need to be in on this?

I definitely think there´s commerical room for for one or possibly a rare few such teams. Not many but some yes.

2-4 mages and 1+ apprentice for each magi. It would essentially be a covenant of its own. Not something for your average magi, but the ones who doesnt want to be stuck in one place, or simply likes building labs or the profit it creates... Certainly enough magi around in total for a handful to be interested in something like this.

And do you know what his apprentices will be making? Why items of quality of course!
Going to give a NICE bonus if they include that in the labs built.

Might want one that has a version of the "mystic tower" Ritual creation spell. With a handful of standardised options, a single such spell should be able to create just about any tailormade building perfectly suitable for the magi comissioning it.

Absolutely. I would say 4 minimum as even if you do as much as possible magically, the vehicles will still have expensive items in them most of the time.

I have to say, Covenants is probably my favorite book, right up there with Mysteries (how can you not love Disciples of the Worm)

The idea would certainly be an adventure, could even start a game at the initial time of the idea and then take it through a couple of hundred years of characters. Not a bad way to be certain everyone is on the same page as far as stories go either.

So many troubles and riches to be had.

IIRC, in the rules as written, you need to have worked in the lab for some period of time before you can refine it and adding virtues without lots of Size/Flaws. Which would seem to limit the utility.

Yes IF you´re reworking an already existing lab...

I was reading up on this and from what I can tell it would only require a single season for the magus to take over the lab and there would be no drawbacks as long as the benefactor magus' Magic Theory is high enough to take charge of the Lab. This would be figured into the design before hand. A season to get familiar with the place is a pittance compared to possibly moving directly into a lab with massive bonuses. The one lab I was working on today with two mages, three apprentices, and eight workers, would give double digit bonuses to Labs with Rego, Mentem, Creo, or creating spells. And it was only going to take between 5 to 8 seasons (depends on some factors which I did not quite yet understand... like the limits of how many virtue and flaws you can do in a season.)

So the group arrives. Using spells and items and also vis from the benefactor, they could make the entire structure of the lab and rooms and all the items to go inside (lighting and heat and such) in 1 or 2 seasons. The other things take more time, but they are getting paid to be there, so no problem. Within a year or so, while your mage is in his old lab working or off adventuring, a Lab has been created, to the expressed desire and wants that wealth and power provides, AND you get it for one season of work.

Oh and LOTS of silver and vis. :wink:

PS. I wonder if the benefactor magus would get a bad Reputation or a good one for buying his awesome Laboratory?

Reputations for Lazy, and Wealthy come to mind...

You are suggesting that if you start from scratch, you can add in lots of virtues so long as your magic theory is high enough? I don't think that is correct.

Serfs Parma, but if I recall correctly, taking two seasons gives you a lab which is balanced in terms of Virtues, Flaws and Size and has zero refinement. You can only increase refinement if the number of years operating in the lab are less than or equal to the current refinement. I don't see any rules for creating a lab that has higher than 0 refinement from the start. So, if you want to have lots of fun virtures, you are going to have to have Size, which lowers Safety or Flaws.

It is probably workable on a small scale. Suppose I wanted a lab with a greater feature. So I spent two seasons building a Size+2 lab, a season refining it, (so it now has three spaces) two seasons adding the major feature (now has zero spaces and have spent a year in it) and then another season refining it and then add another minor feature. You have spent seven seasons on the lab, it has Refinement 2 and one Greater Feature and no penalty to Safety. But you can't increase the refinement until you spent another season opertaing in the lab.

The lab takes time to build. Meaning that those who are building it become eligible to perform all improvements as they´re finishing previous things.

"must be familiar with" and "rule of thumb"... I dont think that has much direct relevance at all if the people doing it have specialised in building labs. And "rule of thumb" does not equate "rule".
Specialists in building labs, i would totally allow such to do it much faster.

Unless its created magically, yes. Meaning that this also is completely optional for anyone willing to spend enough on it.
There is also the note about "every requirement... can be violated"(except minimum time of 1 season unless magically created).

I´ve never had a problem with getting plenty of Safety. I even allow a few points of safety to nullify a point of warping to allow people more options.
And any really good lab should definitely be created with a bit of size added. And since the lab wont be used until the space is filled, flaws due to emptiness and such isnt a problem.

So? Lets say you pay for a new lab to be created over a time of 3-5 years... Thats a LOT of time that the magi can use for better things. Sure its going to be EXPENSIVE!!!, but im quite sure there will always be plenty enough of interested magi for this kind of business to work out VERY well.

After they have built your Lab for you , they have to agree to a permanent memory wipe about the details.
Otherwise , they are stealing your magical secrets.

Hey, in one saga (play by post), My maga created the labs for 4 mages in a single spell (including greater features and other things that could be built in with a high powered CrTe spell, technically, she created 4 full multistory lab/quarters buildings, Library, Council chamber, guest building with room for more labs and Gazeebo, a few more smaller buildings and a stone wall around the whole place in one spell. CrTe 70 ritual spells are fun))

Then four more spells to equip them.

This solves the debate for can you make a lab in one season. With magic you can make a fully equipped and functional lab with stacks of Virtues and bonuses, and you can do it in but a moment with a stack of vis. The example in Covenants is a Lvl 45 Ritual and it makes a size 0 lab, gen qual +2, upkeep +3, Health +1, Aesth +1; with Virtues: Flawless Equip, Flawless Tools, Spotless; and Specialized: Items +2, Vis extraction +2, Creo +1. Note it has zero Refinement.

I can only imagine LadyP what you Lvl 70 spell gave but can I have one next game session? :laughing:

But you see, that would be a extra condition in the contract that would require a substantial bonus in payment. You want secrecy, you have to pay for it.

See the endless story possibilities. Say a wealthy and powerful mage wants you to build him a Lab, but he wants to avoid some tarnishing of his Reputation for hard work. Fine. Our group will cast a hiding spell to keep any sight or sound species from escaping the construction zone, and then another spell to keep all but the most powerful minds from wanting to come near the area.

In two years your lab springs up miraculously overnight and you walk in needing only to spend a season getting familiar with the Lab, while the builders, they left a week prior under spells of hiding. No one is the wiser... unless their was some intrigue. dah dah dummm.... :smiling_imp:

From what I can read, as long as your Magic Theory is high enough (Magic Theory -3= level to retain Refinements; so a MT of 7 lets you get a +4 Refined Lab... note size can be any so a size +3 Lab with Refinement of +4 is nuts with Virtues) you can step into the Lab with only the most minor of effort to get acclimated.

In the end though, this is mostly a idea for a game to be run.

The mages could be Verditius or ex Misc with Major Magical Focus in constructing labs, or any number of magi who are into the idea of being absolutely wealthy, opulent, and mobile. These may not be people looking to live forever, or make Major break thoughs, they are wizards as a means to strive to make Laboratory works of Art. ( A Jerbiton artist with Hermetic Geometry and Architecture who offers for a very large sum a Lvl 9 Aura in your Lab and Aesthetics that make you famous throughout the Tribunal)

Once word gets around I am certain the business will boom.

Or possibly BOOM as the jealous but poor magi grow determined to make the Lab builders suffer for serving the wealthy.

What is Hermetic Geometry?

Page 93 in The Mysteries Revised Edition.

The subject your Tormenting Master makes you study using only a compass , straightedge and set square.

Chortle chortle :laughing:

That really is the best description.

It's part of Arithmetic Magic. It basically uses "perfect" and Aristotlian ideal shapes to perform sympathetic magic. But it also gives bonuses to circle and ring because you made a "perfect" example of it +3. Of course some huge aspects is the Arcane Circle and Arcane Ring, which let you use these without actually drawing the circle around the target, but drawing a "ideal" circle.

Also spells that let you perfect buildings.

Hermetic Architecture lets you enchant Large structures as enchanted items.

Perfects a Size 7 tower by using devices arranged within the structure. Makes the structure decay free and never in need of repair and increases it's strength as well as environment.

HermArch also lets you manipulate auras and regio, even increasing auras up to +9, which is a hella bonus.

Won't the whole magically created lab and fittings be tainted with the various casting sigils used?
I know this is cosmetic , but will identify the maker , unless that is the point.

I didn't think too much about how the magical items and such would be tinged with a sigil but perhaps Mu/Vi to mask or change the sigil to match the benefactor's sigil. Or even better, developing a sigil that is beneficial to the Aesthetics or to the mood of the laboratory.

Or perhaps they weave a subtle sigil into their work, making small sigil markers to show who it was that built them, much like the stone carvers, painters, and wood workers did when working on cathedrals and ornate buildings.

See as it gets more detailed the endless story nuances become vast. This is the brilliance of Ars, which I have come to love.

No they wouldnt be, because at that point the buyer has yet to start using the lab and as such, none of her "secrets" exists in it yet, only whatever it was designed to include which will be standardised by the build team anyway.