Bonisagi House Acclaim

By RAW, Bonisagi House Acclaim is a Reputation that only affects members of that house and has a hard cap at score 4 (Only the Primus has a 5).

It does make dealing with other members of the house easier, so I tracked my current Magi through the points needed to get a score of 4 (50+ acclaim points) and then no longer bothered tracking the points since the actual score no longer increases.

Today while skimming through the House Bonisagi part of HoH:TL in preparation for this weeks game the "Research and Acclaim Points" box on page 21 caught my eye. I thought "Wow, some of those will add up to HUGE points" and so set about calculating how many my Magus should have based on text/research he has made public/donated to the Great Library. What I found was a rather shocking 345 Acclaim Points, enough to buy a score of 11 on the ability scale.

That might seem high, but it is not very hard to reach. For example a single Minor Breakthrough (something my Magus has done) is worth 15 for the actual breakthrough, 90+ for the stabilization needed for that breakthrough, and 60+ for the experimentally spells created for that research if they are all made public. My Magus gained 226 points from that that one Minor Breakthrough since he included a total of 121 points of experimentally created spells with it. A Major Breakthrough would be worth 50% more.

A Magus who writes lots of Tractatus on the Arts will also gain a lot of points. They are valued at half their quality in points and are a very common "Library Boosting" thing done in game. To gain those points, they have to be publicly traded and/or submitted to the Great Library, which is something any good Bonisagi should be doing.

So my question comes down to "What, if anything, should be done with all the Acclaim Points past the 50 needed to reach the max Score"?

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Realistically any research mage should be trying like crazy to avoid acclaim. After all gaining acclaim gets the attention of the primus, who then pulls you off of your projects and assigns you to theirs. Or gets you put on some committee or another, or otherwise saddles you with responsibility to the house that will eat up the time you want to spend in research.
If you start reaching levels that could be considered level 5 the primus will see you as a threat, and take measures to keep you from advancing further.

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It is a double edged sword because you need some of it to actually avoid some of those things like being assigned to projects other than your own. With enough rank you are actually immune to that. Of course getting assigned to things like committees (the Colens Arcanorum for example) is more likely at high rank.

The problem comes from things like submitting a single Minor Breakthrough with supporting work gives you 165+ points. That is over three times what is needed to cap out your Acclaim.

You like writing books or have a Covenant duty to do so? Your Covenant publicly trades them? That adds up points very fast as well.

This is what pseudonyms are for. You are required by the oath to share your work. You are not required to put your own name on it.

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Not directly answering your question, but one mitigating factor is going to be the time it takes the reputation to spread - this is typically 1 year per acclaim point (although it can be faster if your research is in a folio), so it would take 345 years post gauntlet to reach that level of fame.

Even allowing for that, though, a magus could still accumulate the points to beat a score of 4/5 without major difficulty. Unfortunately at that point they probably are lost? The obvious alternative would be to let them keep increasing the benefits listed on page 22.

You might also house rule that an source of acclaim is reduced by your current acclaim level. That would slow things a bit and prevent anyone from getting level 4 acclaim by writing a large volume of tractatus.

honestly, looking at the list that needs to be fixed. There is no way someone should be able to gain 7 acclaim simply by writing a high quality tractatus. Write one of those in each art and you are eligible for primus without having ever actually done anything.

You answered your own post before I could. My character has Comm +3 and Good Teacher. Reducing the acclaim gained by writing a large volume of tractatus by his current acclaim level would barely even slow him down on the way to 50 points.

I have been saying it is too easy.

Personally I would say that a tractatus should produce no acclaim unless it is in the folio. And then only 1 point.

Also no acclaim for binding a familiar or making a talisman. How do those add to the understanding of magic?

Yes there is the 1 point per year limit, but with the cap at level 4 (50 points) means that if you are a good little Boni then you should just get 1 point per year until you hit the cap.

And yes, currently anything past 50 are just lost.

A summae should only contribute if level+quality is over 35, maybe gain (level+quality-35)/2

new spells, which must be truly original not minor variations on existing spells or a reinvention of them, should be 1/magnitude regardless of experimentation.

The points value for binding a familiar or making a talisman are minimal and make up less that 1.5% of my total for example. Removing them would make little difference in the total points gained.

Though they do not contribute to the understanding of magic, House Acclaim is also about more that just that. Part of it is how good a Magus and Bonisagi you are, which is why they are there but worth so little.

Edit: And spells do need to be original. Minor variations are not original and already worth nothing.

Well, another alternative is to simply double the acclaim level for each of the house ranks, so a primus has acclaim of 10 etc, with odd levels of acclaim being about bragging rights/seniority.


Doubling the acclaim levels would work. It would actually result in high bonuses when interacting with other Boni, but they would be in direct contest with each other so a wash between those of similar rank. While those of different ranks would see a larger spread in the effects, which actually feels like it would be more accurate to me.

It would also mean that to get to the highest ranks you would have to have something (possibly more than one) published in the Folio. Without the increased speed it would take you 225 years post gauntlet to reach level 9 if you had at least 1 point unspread every year.

That increase in speed would be to 2 points per year until it added everything gained from submitting to the Folio. For example if my Tractatus on Herbam "Awakening the Sleeping Rose" and its included spell lab text were included (spoiler: they weren't), that is 15 points for the breakthrough and 12+8 for the Tractatus & spell. That would reduce the time to gain a rank by 17 years.

I would think to reach that level you would pretty much have to have been published in the folio at least once. Of course something like integrating a breakthrough can just about guarantee you get published there.

Depends on the level of the Breakthrough.

Many Minor Breakthroughs just are not interesting to the Order at large. Some might be spells bases which while interesting just do not seem that useful, such as mine in game which made a version of Stir the Slumbering Tree that switched it from MuHe(Me) to Cr(Mu)He(Me) and allowed it to be cast as a Momentary Ritual. "But why, when we can just enchant it with a constant effect? Because I don't want my rosebushes warping!" Other examples of things that would not be that interesting to the Order at large are eccentric Targets which do not have a use outside of a very limited range.

Major Breakthroughs, especially integrating Virtues, are pretty much going to make it in. It would be the odd integrated Minor Virtue which doesn't really provide much of any benefit that would not. However if Fully Integrated into Magic Theory (allowing use without a Virtue) then you would for sure make it in the Folio.

Hermetic Breakthroughs now are guaranteed to make it no matter what. You just shattered some hard limit of Hermetic Magic that no one thought was possible.

In my opinion it is not a problem that a breakthrough of any kind is practically guaranteed to get you to a score of 4 in acclaim.

Most magi, bonisagus or otherwise, dont make breakthroughs. Magi bonisagus are sort of expected to work on a breakthrough but IMO most of them are either working on something that is not possible, would be a hermetic breakthrough or just want to be normal magi engaging in normal magus pursuits within hermetic magic. This already means that most bonisagi would not be eligible for most of the points you assume. Most bonisagi would also not have the combination of good teacher and com +3 and conversely the system is designed to propel magi that have high com and/or the good teacher virtue to the top. Same goes for people who make breakthroughs. So in that sense it is rather more a feature than a bug that a magus with com +3, good teacher and a breakthrough to their name tends to breeze to the top of the system.

Consider also that a breakthrough is a big deal. Sure some minor breakthroughs are just that, pretty minor. Most people are not going to give a crap about "Target:pair" or whatever. But some minor breakthroughs are significant, if only for their theoretical implications and some are simply very useful but only for select groups or in select situations.

Major breakthroughs on the other hand are a big deal with many canonical examples of major breakthroughs having the potential to completely change the order. Think of Viresculture or fertility magic. A magus bonisagus who invents or discovers something on this order of magnitude should expect to be declared primus as a matter of course at the next election cycle (assuming that the magus is alive and capable of filling the role at said time).

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Does it really take 1 year per point in total reputation, or does it take 1 year per point from a source? The "gained acclaim point" could be judged as based on its source or as applied to total reputation, right?

My pen-and-paper group played with the spread on a per-source basis and doubled all the scores needed to reach any title. We then halved the scores for their bonus.