Book Stats

Salve Sodalis

Today I'm curious to know what you have in your libraries.

IMS we have a rather quite spiffy library but we have been after a Magic theory Summa to aid teaching the apprentices. Which got me to thinking, Bonisagus' De theorica Magica is the authority for this ability, so what scores should it ideally have.

I know quality may vary due to clarity of the script, illustrations and such like but Bonisagus' original prose would also have a big effect on the quality too.

We have copies of a few of the Authorities for other subjects (Aristotles works, the bible etc). For the Bible we statted it as very high level (i.e. 10) and very low quality, about 3(i mean have you actually read the bible, sheesh, talk about lax editing).

I'm curious to know what kind of levels/qualities you assign books and especially the authorities.

The players in my campaign have been pooling their vis together to buy books. So far they have averaged qualities of 12-16 and levels of 12-16. Of course they are comissioning them to be copied so they've been waiting quite some time for some of them.

We have two interesting books in our saga:

Apologia Sive de Magia
One of the "Lost Text", highly sought after. The low Level is indicatives of its non-Hermetic lore.
Erotic magic, used by Lucius, Cult of Mercury member, to win the heart & wealth of the widowed Pudentilla, also a full description of his trial.
Summa Mentem: Q: 20 L: 8
Summa Cult of Mercury Lore: Q: 20 L: 2
Summa Civil and Cannon Law: Q: 20 L: 2

The Rubaiyat
Translated from Aribic from the eleventh century, Persian, mathematician/astrologer named Ghiyathuddin Abulfath Omar bin Ibrahim al-Khayyami--or, Omar, son of Abraham by a Criamon.
Tracatus Intelligo: Q: 10

Hello all,

I just have a simple question :

How can you reach a quality of 15+ on books level 10+ with the 5th edition.
An very good mage could have +3 in communication and good teacher virtue and a amazing score of 26 in an art ---- so a quality of 15 for writing a summae level 10 ....

For a knowledge the situation is the same ... how to reach 20 of quality for a level 2 ?

Thanks for the explanations because I might have missed or misunderstood some rules and my players might benefit of it.

For the time beeing the most interesting book they have been able to trade (for a huge huge amount of virtus) is a level 15, quality 13.

We are a rather poor covenant, still working on our libraries, both magical and mundane. Or "best" books are summae of level 6-9 and qualities of 15-21. There is also a fair number of high level tractatuses on several arts.

The mundane library is quite bulging (for a spring covenant!) as well, even if not as extensive3 as the hermetic library.

One of our most important books is the Bible itself, authored by God and teaching Teology, Law, Divine Lore and Israel History. For all, it is an Authority. We HR that an authority is a Q2-3 (up to Q3-6 for Arts) tractatus that can be studied as many times as you want.

Note: book made before the appearence of ROP:D, and we do not agree with the levels of the books in that supplement, but hey



Note that books with a Quality and Level total of 31 are NORMAL tarding books in the order and 35 totals are good books and 41 are extremly rare books. All below 35 are poor books that are not normaly traded. (from Covenants).

So a standart summae would have 16/15 or 20/11 or 18/13 or 8/23 or something like this.

A standart!

Not really. 35 is the absolute maximum achievable (theoretically) IIRC. Heck, it is a MAJOR boon if you want a book like that in your library! Not a general trade booki at all. :slight_smile:

I will recheck my Covenants book tonight, but I think you are a little bit out here :wink::stuck_out_tongue: Now that would make my powerplayer gamers drool if it was possible :smiley:


Where do you find that this is standard?
It implies that the average author of a book has an Art score of at least 30... That is very high indeed. And this also implies that there is no use for starting magi to write books because of the high standard.

Page 94 Covenants: legendary books have a quality of level-41, extremly good books have qualities around 35-level, most of the books traded withhin the order are between 31-level and 28-level. Vain/weak Summae from weaker writers have qualities of 25-level or below. Books with qualities between 18 and 15 are weak and cheap book mostly used for cleaning your butt.
A legendary Tractatus have 17, a good 14, a standart 11 and a weak tracttaus 6 quality.

And think a bit: if you want the good teacher virtue, simply spend 3 seasons or so in the german forrest and walk the path and get this ability before starting any big book! :wink:

Just in case anyone forgot the errata.

Let's see the absolute extreme:
Communication +6 (Great Communication x2, Mythic Communication (HoH:TL) specialized in book writing) -- also keep in mind that the First Ring of Solomon can raise your Com by 3 points (up to +5), Good Teacher +5, Summa Bonus +3, Scribe/Binder/Illuminator bonus +3.
So we have a base quality of 17, before any level drops. Assuming that the maximum art is 40, we can get up to a L3 Q34 Summa (a big waste) or a L10 Q27 (1xp shy of going from 0 to 10 in 2 seasons).
We can add resonances for up to another +3 and get a L3 Q37 Summa or a L10 Q30 Summa.

Of course, those are very, very unlikely to ever be written... but they are legal. If the players decide to start with one such book in their library, that's a very significant Saga element.

Whoot .... you re really fast to answer. It will be a pleasure to raise question in this forum :smiley:

I must admit that considering the fact that a magus could hardly reach a art score of 40+, the one able to write books with a level 15+ are really not that numerous in the Order.
So for me a book 15/20 or 18/17 or 10/25 could not be a standard book but rather already amazing books really hard to exchange or copy

PS : Thanks Fruny for that amazing example for which the mage would "only" write a book with level+quality = 37

For Summae: no.

But if your starting mage can write (with Com 5, Good Teacher and everything other, only laking in 15 in the arts) Quality 15 Tracttai you have someone on your covenant that can write books even the oldest and wisest mages want to have... and if somene mundane copys them they have quality 14 so you can copy them in masses and can earn books, vis, items, favours for yourself or your covenant in masses too. And this is possible even with a starting mage and a cool character concept too, I think.

I think the deal with these very high quality and level books being standard in the order is that these are multiple generations of copies of the best books in the Order.

That is, within the life of the Order, there has been a specialist in each of the Arts who wrote down a book at the height of his ability, becomming the standard text, traded back and forth all around the Order. Anything less than these texts has little value within the Order because it is almost as easy to just copy these great texts. Starting Covenants may not have copies of these, but I would guess by the time they proceed into Summer they have them all.

There may not be a lot of different Quality + Level combos at those high levels (35), because we are talking about a rare wizard being able to create them, but there are probally a few.

Note that the very highest Quality + Level (41) combos are jelously guarded by the most powerful Covenants, and that their copying is very very limited

It will be a long time before any PC could scribe one of the tomes, and many won't ever be able to as Generalists.

These aren't necessarily hard and fast rules.

regarding art levels;
Certainly characters with over a 40 in an art will be exceedingly rare. The core book posits 40 as by and large the highest level a character could expect to gat in an art.

This fits pretty well with the game rules as published. A fairly dedicated student of one art migt spend two seasons studying the art every three years of his life post apprenticeship. Looking at an average quality of a tractatus as 10 (from covenants) and 100 years of life past apprenticeship the characer nets 666 xp that is only enough to get him to level 36.

However, if the character has an affinity this experience total goes to 1000 also with if the character devotes one exposure experience points to the art per year he'll end up with an additional 200 experience points (due to the effects of the affinity). 1200 experience points puts the character at level 48.

I don't believe that 2 seasons every three years is conservative, but the other assumptions (no book learner, average quality 10, 100 years past apprenticeship, 1 exposure experience per year) are quite conservative so I can imagine a strong case being made for levels higher than 48 being achieved.

regarding book quality
Elder magi do have much to fear from possible twilight episodes but if they want to take the risk a communication of +5 is accheivable with some effort by the use of creo mentem spells.

When we speak about a book that has a level of 20 adding all three points of resonance to the book becomes feasable. Typically the last point of resonance that is gained by infusing the book with a pawn vis over the course of a season would be painfully imprafctical but if a character is going to study from the book for eight seasons to understand it all it becomes very adavantageous to add the last point of resonance if more than one person will stufy the book.

So here's what I think the best Sumae in the order look like

They're written by a character with an art score of 44 and a communication of +5 (achieved with creo mentem brain steriods).

They have bonuses for scribe, illuminator and book binder. They have three points of resonance bonuses. (would it be possible to gloss the volume for another point of quality ?)

We are looking at level 22 quality 14 (or 15 if glossing works). Or level 18 quality 18 or 19.

But this isn't the theretical maximum. All my example book requires is that a focused specialist lives for 100 years past apprenticship.

A significantly better book would be created using the (significantly less waranted) assumption that a focused specialist with book learner and good teacher lives to 150 years past apprenticeship. (I calculate it out at level 28 quality 17 or 18 ).

This has shed much light on the library of my players but how about for books written about abilities?

Would the bible have a high level and a low quality?
How about books by the greek philosophers?

Does anyone have summa for the artes liberales, theology and philosophae abilities in their libraries, and if so how did they stat them out?

I'd consider it an athority...So yes. High Level. Low Quality

I beleive we have some...stat the same as any thing else, they will have much lower levels since abilities take so much more to raise(wont find an author with a 40 in artes liberales)..I'd assume you'd be VERY lucky if you find a level 10 ability summa, with luck you might be able to find a level 5-8. but in general it's probally more worthwhile to find tractati.

We have always considered authorities to be level-less summae: a tractatus that can be read as many times you want. Their qualities are lousy, though (Q2-6) so you are unlikely to be getting a lot out of them. For the bible we figured that Q3 would be OK. he is an authority on a large number of subjects as well (law, history, divine lore...)