Bonus to Lab total from Shape and Material Bonus

Just to check.

If a Magus wanted to create (say) 20 identical Level 3 items invested items and had a lab text for them
detailing an appropriate shape and/or material bonus, does that bonus apply 20 times to the lab total?

I.e. the Required lab total is 60. If the Shape bonus is +2 then the required Arts+Int+MT of the Magus need only be 20?

Or is this bonus in total capped by the Magic theory of the Magus?


level 3 items? Not sure why you would bother, but as for my part I would treat this the same as creating 20 level 1 items. Of course you still have to pay 20 pawns of vis, which means you have to have a magic theory of 10.

This is me trying to think how someone would design a course of lab work to break the limit on Vis use per season (e.g. increase the multiplier to 3*MT or add a bonus equal to AL score, or something). They need MT 11+ to get a reasonable chance of a discovery on the original research rules, but by that time they can already use 22 pawns a season. So to experiment with using more, they have to create very low level effects. I wondered if the MT cap woudl stymie this approach. As there are not many level one effects one can enchant into an item.


The total bonus from Shape and Material is limited by your Magic Theory. The total Vis you can spend is also limited by your Magic Theory.

If the same bonus from a Shape can be applied multiple times is very much YSMV. While I do not personally believe it can be, that is based on my own interpretation.


I would let the S&M bonus only apply once to lab total.

My first reaction was of course not. I would not give you the bonus twice for having two sapphires on your healing wand either.

In this particular case, however, I could consider tweaking it, just since I like original research and there will be a long saga before anyone reaps the benefits of the abuse anyway.

However, the other restrictions still apply. You cannot get more bonuses than your Magic Theory, as already mentioned. I also question experimentation when you have a lab text ... after all, the benefit of the lab text is suppose to be not needing any trial and error. Yes, I also think RAW does not forbid it, but I find it abusive.


The reason I am asking is that the rules: (Arm5 p99)

If any of the bonuses listed on the Shape
and Material Bonuses table for the material
or shape of the device you are using
matches the effect being invested, that
bonus is added to your Lab Total. For
example, if you were enchanting a lamp
to constantly produce magical light, you
would add +7 to your Lab Total. Your
total bonus from the shape and material of
the device may not exceed your Magic
Theory score. This represents the ability
of the magus to tie all the correspondences into the enchantment.

(italics mine) seem to say that the limit is a per device not a per season limit. So obviously no two sapphires per healing wand, but for multiple copies of the same device I can't see the prohibition.


"The amount of raw vis that a magus may
use in a single season is limited to twice his
Magic Theory score. The magus cannot suc-
cessfully integrate any more vis into a single
(Arm5 p94)

"A compound item of this
sort may not contain more components than
your Magic Theory score, as binding disparate
things together magically takes some skill.
It is possible for an item to have a
vis capacity that makes it impossible for a magus
to open it for enchantment, as no magus can use
more than twice his Magic Theory score in
pawns of vis in a season (see page 94)."
(Arm5 p97)

As the rules are written, the section on multiple activities comes later. All the basic rules seem to assume that you are working on a single device. Then you have to work in the special case of multiple activities afterwards. Exactly how you do that is not discussed in sufficient detail, so you may find yourself in house rule territory no matter how you conclude.

My problem with allowing it per device as a general rule is that you can get some very ridiculous results. For instance, you can make an infinite number of charged items if you can come up with an infinite number of low-level effects.

The compound item does not apply here as there are explicitly different items, and for the second point I was asking for what happens as long as the magus stays withing the MNT*2 limit for Vis. This is in preparation for aexperimentation to modify that limit. I wanted to be clear about the form and material cap was for each device or for each season, and my reading of a bonus per device seems to me to be RAW.


Assuming you allowed that per item, there are several issues here:

  1. Allowing the S&M bonus multiple times allows Magi to produce more copies of the item. No other bonus is applied multiple times. Not your Familiar, not the Lab Bonus, not your Magic Theory, or even your Intelligence. By inference, this suggests that even S&M only applies once.
  2. Even if your lab total is 60, and the item is level 3, while technically you could create twenty of them, you'll need a Magic Theory of 10 to do so.
  3. I would not allow a Magi to get the bonus from both a Lab Text, and Experimentation. When you experiment, you do not follow a lab text. you change things, so why should you get the lab text bonus? Maybe half of it.

I think I am convinced by the labtext argument (which is a stronger cap than I had initiall realized).

Thanks all!


The Shape&Material bonus to your lab total is calculated per device, but you certainly don't get to add together them if you tried to create multiple items of the same sort.
(Assuming I understood what you are after)

So if your lab total without any Shape&Material bonus is 18, and you got a S&M bonus of +2, then you have a lab total of 20.

If you want to create an invested item you first need to open the item for enchantment. This process does not use your lab total in any way, but just involves spending an amount of vis depending on the size and material(s) of the item. I see no indication in the rules that you can open more than one item per season.
Opening the item is not needed for lesser enchanted items.

Then you need to invest effect into the item. To be able to do this in a single season you need to have a lab total twice the level of the invested effect. So if you wanted to invest a level 1 effect in one season, you'd need a minimum lab total of 2 - including any Shape&Material bonuses.
This is true for both invested items, and lesser enchanted items. (Lesser enchanted items can only be created if you can do them in a single season)

Now, using the rules for multiple labratory activities you could invest powers in several identical items in a single season. For our hypothetical item you could create 10 of them in a single season. ( lab total of 20 divided by the required lab total of 2)

If you want to create 20 invested level 3 items in a single season, you need 20 opened items lying around, you need a lab total of 6 to invest each of them in a single season, so you need a Lab Total of 20*6=120 to pull it off. No, you do not get to count the Shape&Material bonus 20 times for the Lab Total any more than you get to count your Magic Theory bonus 20 times.
You'd also need to spend 20 pawns of Vis and thus need a Magic Theory score of 10 or higher.

One question that pops up is if you try to invest effects in multiple different items (with different Shape&Material bonuses) in a single season, but all using the same Technique+Form combination. This seems to be allowed according to RAW. What is not clear is how you'd calculate the lab total - since it could be different for each item.
My ruling would be that in this case you'd use the lowest applicable Lab Total to calculate how many items you can invest powers in during that season.


(EDIT: Just for clarity, this whole post is talking about my groups HRs and implementation of multi activity seasons)

You can also learn or create spells of the same TeFo with any left over Lab Total you have. While not something you will often find among younger Magi, once they start getting their Lab Totals up they will often have high excess over many of their enchantments. While this will mostly be level 1~5 spells, with the odd level 10 or 15, this will round out the Magus abilities.

We actually allow a Magus who is inventing a multi-season spell to use their excess in the last season to learn/invent another spell, as long as it can be completed in the same season. (all activities in a multiple activity season must be completed that season)

My group uses a slightly complex method for working out multi lab activities, which have become extremely common since we have reached higher power levels.

  • Season Limits: Total Vis is limited to MT x2 (baring special Virtues), Total Shape & Material (S&M) is limited to MT, Total Similar Spell (SS) is limited to MT.

  • Calculate your Lab Total without any S&M or SS bonus. This is your pool which will be divided out to individual activities later.

  • Design the individual effects you are producing, along with their required LT. These can be Invested (only effects that can be installed in a single season), lesser, or charged (with target LT for how many you want to produce). Multiples of the same item/effect are grouped together.

  • Staying within your limit, add appropriate S&M bonuses to each activity. While you can use the same S&M bonus for different activities, each use counts towards your max. Note that multiples of the same item are grouped and can only receive the S&M bonus once for the whole group. It doesn't matter if you are producing one or ten lamps, you can only get the +7 S&M bonus once for all of them.

  • Staying within your limit, add appropriate SS bonuses to each activity. While you can use the same SS bonus for different activities, each use counts towards your max. Note that multiples of the same item are grouped and can only receive the SS bonus once for the whole group.

  • Divide out your LT calculated earlier to reach the required Target for each activity. Any remainder is normally used to learn/invent spells. We treat them as little effects the Magus learned while performing all their other activities.

While by no means RAW, almost any in-game use of multiple lab activities will require some extent of house rules. Ours came about after over a year of play, since before then it had never come up and we didn't think about it when hashing out our pre-game HRs. It does not seem to be something that is commonly thought of.

Not according to RAW.
"All the activities you perform in a season must be
of the same type (learning spells, instilling pow-
ers in an invested device, creating potions) and
must use the same Technique and Form"
(Arm5, p102)

So you can't both invest powers in a device and learn spells in the same season, no matter how high your Lab Total is.

Page 102 in the core rulebook talks about doing multiple seasonal activities in one season. It is a short paragraph.

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The core book is light on details and does not explain how to handle things like modifiers to the Lab Total from Shape & Material or Similar Spells. While it states all activities must be of the same type, it is not clear on if those activities can be a mix with some using a Lab Text and some not.

How any given troupe chooses to handle them will be open to internal discussion.

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I think ErikT nailed it. Doing multiple items is covered under the multiple lab projects. Bonuses to lab total from items increase the lab total, and that total is then divided up between several projects. If you can complete multiple of them in a season, good for you. But it's the overall lab total that counts.

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