Charter Discussion OOC

This is the Charter Discussion thread. Discuss what your charter is gonna look like and what the Covenant's dedicated purpose will be. Also discuss what your system of governance will be, any duties of Magi to the covenants per year (seasons spent etc), vis expenditure blah, blah you know the drill. After you conclude this discussion I will copy the results into Announcements and delete this thread.

(Merging threads, IOKE's post)

Again, IonianD has reminded us to do the charter. If I got it right, these are the obligatory paragraphs:

We need a clause to define the governing council. I would suggest that we simply say that all magi are members of the council, which meets every year at
winter soltice, to allocate duties and resources for the coming year. Do we need to meet more often?

I don't think we should promise any rights to magi at this point, but rather state an objective to get proper labs and vis rights within a number of years. For the time being, I think vis salary is a better principle. Those who take on duties get a fairer share of the resources. In this case we should probably write that the council holds all resources in common.

We need a purpose. The Greek seem to be very particular about this. Arni would propose «reclaim the sources of magic»,

We may want to list a list of roles, chairman of the council is the most obvious maybe, but chief librarian, secretary of defence, whatever ... simply to share responsibiliteis. Even tasks which really falls on the grogs need a magus looking after, even if the duty is negligible.

This is just off the top of my head. Thoughts?

Wait, what's this mean? Magi should get the items they enchant, the books they write etc. We need to specify what resources the council keeps, and what the magi get.

Similarly, Magi should get to keep the lab they build/customize.

Sure. Once the covenant decides to give resources (room for a sanctum, vis, silver, whatever) to a magus, it belongs to the magus. I meant raw resources, not processed ones. The point is that nothing is allocated automatically or by right. This is important because the covenant may not have the resources to keep any promises.

And, specifically, the magi will need to build labs for guest use, and these labs must be built first to keep existing promises. I.e. magi will build labs that they cannot keep. If there is room and silver enough to also build labs that they can keep is uncertain.

I forgot to mention a clause about chaning the charter. That is needed too. And the charter should change in a couple of years, to formalise customs when we no that they are affordable.

Hmmm... Or you can build your labs first, that would give you 8 working ones. Should one or two 'guests' appear you can accommodate them. If 4 appear, two of your PC Magi can temporarily give up a lab. There is readily space for an extra lab, and you might excavate another one in the basement, or convert the roof to two more. Maybe even make another outside structure. My guess is, you will probably need working guest labs inside 3 years, not in the first four seasons. Besides it takes at least one season to take over a lab...

That does not work. If a magus is given a lab, the lab is furnished and marked as a sanctum, and a sanctum is not given up, temporarily or otherwise.
However, we can furnish shared labs, and let a particular magus use it long-term with the only restriction that it must be given up for guests, but it must then be absolutely clear that it is in principle a shared lab and not a sanctum.

Anyway, the charter should probably write about both sancti and labs, and keep them as separate rights/objectives.

Sure, but this will not happen in the first year, and probably not in the second, unless the covenant has more resources than we know of. Just furnishing four guest labs is two magus-years of work, and 20 lbs of silver. [*]

I don't think we should allocate any personal labs, until we have secured the space for a size 0 lab for everyone + the necessary guest labs. It is a top priority to get this space though, and we may very well write a time limit for the objective in the charter. What I would like to see then, is an «one for all and all for one» spirit in the charter and in practice, so that everyone is responsible for building up the covenant so that everyone's needs are taken care of. Withdrawing to own work as soon as one has one's own lab is not an option, and the charter should say so.

This is only true when refinement > 0, i.e. not for standard labs. [Cov, p.118]. The book also says that labs can be designed for transient use, but not how. Anyway, I do not think anyone is going to spend time raising refinement for a shared lab, so we do not need to know :slight_smile: Shared standard labs is not a problem.

[*] BTW. This is a plan.
Does anyone have Magic Theory 5? (Arni has 4.) A magus can train a grog in Magic Theory while setting up the lab. If a grog helps furnishing two labs (four seasons), he can get a score of 3. Training is trainer's score + 3, so two seasons with a score 5 magus and two with a score 4 magus is 30 xp and Magic Theory 3.
In the second year, this grog is able to furnish standard Hermetic labs on his own, without a magus to take any time. (And the grog can train another grog to 3 in five seasons.) It will take a few years to get all the labs set up this way, and it requires cooperation and planning, but it is a massive saving in magus time.

PS. I see that two magi have Magic Theory effectively at 5+ including puissance. Does puissance count towards source quality for training? I don't think the book is clear.

PPS. Personally, I think shared labs is a viable solution for 5-10 years for most of the magi. Lab rats will want to customise labs ASAP, but the rest of us will not want to spend more time than strictly necessary on furnishing labs. It is certainly better to share a standard lab, than having a flawed lab on one's own, when one only wants to use it a season or two a year. In the long-run everybody needs personalised labs, and I think excellent facilities in 1225 is much more important than border-line decent facilities in 1217 ... And lab rats with expensive needs may be afforded those, by paying with occasional extra seasons of work, to create an item for the covenants use or write down lab texts for other partners etc. When the covenant is richer, everybody can have what they want, and only do a minimum amount of service.

A lab is only a sanctum if you put your sanctum marker over it - you could choose to put your sanctum marker over your living quarters instead. Certainly, we avoid a lot of trouble if we share until the covenant is considerably wealthier and we have decided on best use of space, and whether to add any buildings.

Teaching or training with Puissant - see the definition of Puissant(Ability) on page 48 - "Note that you do not, in general, use an ability when learning it, teaching it, or writing about it"

Do we wish to consider cost-cutting cheap labs as an interim measure - missing equipment or missing ingredients slashes the cost while only affecting certain activities, and can be fixed "instantly" (well, within the 7 day distraction allowance) when you have the money.

The covenant should not allow anyone to put their sanctum mark up anywhere, before we can afford the same sanctum space for everyone. Including the lab in the sanctum is the natural thing to do, when the magus perceives it as his own. Problem is, once the sanctum mark is there, the covenant cannot remove it without violating the code. In other words, the charter must say that no magus may set up a sanctum mark without approval.

OK. Then it takes five seasons to train a grog to furnish labs. Still worth doing.

I think we want to consider it when we have four standard shared labs up and running, and can assess the resource availability and lab demands.
I think it will take the first year just to make four labs and secure income. I think we know to little to consider it now, and I do not know what the conclusion of the consideration would be :slight_smile:

If we can train grogs in Magic Theory during that first year, we can reduce the magus work load in the next couple of years.

<_< Em.... you do know that you can remove your sanctum mark whenever you want right? The only restriction is reclaiming a new sanctum more than once per season ( It is in the Peripheral code somewhere. Old AM3 Wizard's Grimoire pg 169, Greater Alps 1165)

Also, the way labs and living spaces are constructed is, one whole room separated chambers, accessed by one door. That way you claim the space as your sanctum, both lab and living space (and apprentice closet). Handy.

I want to be able to start customizing a lab ASAP. Raven is willing to take the size -1 lab if no one objects.

Really we should teach/train a grog (or companion) to do initial lab set-up. With a specialty a grog only needs MT 2. Raven can do that in a single season.

Agreed, it is possible. The charter must be clear that the sanctum assignments are either temporary or can be withdrawn. It must be dealt with in the council.

Thinking in character, I find it difficult to accept not having a permanent sanctum, even if I see less trouble in sharing labs.

This raises another question. Will guests expect to be allowed to sanctify the guest lab they use for the duration? If they do, home magi cannot have a sanctum in the bedroom which would then be inside the guest sanctum.

In my book, that would be abuse of the speciality, but that might not be the official books. If the SG agrees with you, I shall be very happy.

BTW, I see that the Verditius can do the same. Thus the two of you can take 1-2 seasons and train two lab furbishers, and then they can do all the labs. It will take 2½ years for two grogs to fit ten standard Hermetic labs, but I am more worried about the 50 lbs of silver than the 2½ years at the moment.

Yes, I stand corrected.

I must be blind, I don't see anything like that on that page. Help someone?

I am wary of teaching random grogs Magical Theory. Apprentices yes, some very close and special helpers (like a scribe thats loyal and that you know him for years) yes. But I have seen campaigns where people oversee a host of mundanes to do stuff they shouldn't. Its weirdly efficient, certainly allowed by the rules (even though those grogs do not need Arcane Lore for some reason), and definitely against the grain of this Campaign: I like my Order secretive and paranoid. So... I am gonna nix this on the bud for the beginning of the campaign. Get an apprentice or two or spend some years knowing the grogs or companions better. This is not the Industrial Revolution -_-

Again: You remove you stuff from that lab, including adjacent spaces. You move to another lab. You claim that lab and adjacent spaces as Sanctum. You can do this once per Season, as the Peripheral allows it (Not that anyone will check).

Lets return to the thread in hand please: Charter and stuff

Fascinating. Incidentally, I have two different printings of the book, and they are different on this point. The quoted sentence is in Digital version 1.0 (2011), but not in the first printing 2004.

You make a good point. It is the lab setup which is so ridiculously expensive that it invites abuse.

Not popular, but possible. The point is that the charter needs clauses to deal with that situation. It is important because if a magus refuses to move, he is protected by the Code.

Ah, it's in the errata for first printing at and in the digital edition.

So how are we going to allocate vis for the vis share? And what are we going to say constitutes enough covenant service to qualify?

I am fine with the errata (learning, teaching, writing), clarification that the Puissant does apply on learning spells both in play and in character creation.

Alright, the Covenants book has an example charter in the back of the book, so this is largely taken from there. There are some changes though!

The members of this covenant are governed by the Council of
Members, active members of the covenant. This council shall not declare action except on behalf of the entire
membership of the covenant. Conversely, the rulings of the council cannot be overturned by an individual.

Any member of the covenant shall have the right and duty to convene
an Emergency Council of Members for consideration of matters justly grave. A Regular Council of Members shall once
each year, one day prior to the winter solstice, regardless of
call from any member, and all Active Members of the covenant should endeavor to
make themselves present. Should it not be possible to convene the full Council of Members, any quorum consisting of more than half of its current members is considered valid;
else the discharge of the council’s duty must be delayed until such time as a quorum may be convened.

Motions to be decided upon by the Council of Members must be introduced by a member; debated fully and justly, allowing those who wish to
speak to do so; and then proposed for the vote. Proposals must be seconded
by another member of the covenant, else no vote can take place.

During an Regular Council of Members issues shall be passed by a majority vote of the members there present; excepting
that the at least three-fourths of the Active Members must vote in favor for
changes to the charter; expulsion of a member; and acceptance of a
new member.

During an Emergency Council of Members issues shall be passed by a majority vote of the Active Members; excepting
that the at least three-fourths of the Active Members must vote in favor for
changes to the charter; expulsion of a member; and acceptance of a
new member.

The Council of Members shall confer the offce of disceptator to the
representative of the covenant in matters of governance and temporal concern. The title of disceptator is a duty of every member of the
covenant; this position is cyclical, with the responsibility
rotating in sequence of Hermetic seniority amongst the members of the
council. Each disceptator serves for a period of seven years, commencing one
year following Tribunal. The duties of the disceptator are: to attend regular
meetings of the council; to keep order at meetings; to determine the yearly surplus of provision and
store; to determine the active membership and to act as a spokesman for the Council of Members. The disceptator shall not be empowered to rule on matters on the covenant’s behalf, but
instead is charged with ensuring that the rulings of the Council of Members
are enacted. The role of disceptator may be passed to another Active Member if the Disceptator and other Active Member agree. A petition signed by a majority of the active members also transfers the role of Disceptator. Neither should be considered a judgement on the ability any members of the covenant. The Disceptator is a role of service and should be viewed as such.

Resources of this covenant are held in common by the Council of
Members, and it is the responsibility of this council to maintain and defend

This covenant lays claim to all the vis originating from undisputed
and unclaimed sources discovered by members of the council; save for the
frst harvest of a new vis source, which belongs to the finder or finders. This
covenant also lays claim to any vis gifted to the Council of Members as a
whole. In all other situations, undisputed and unclaimed vis belongs to the
finder or finders.

This covenant lays claim to the right to scribe a copy of any book authored by Members of the Council, and lays claim to the copy.
The author otherwise retains all rights to the original. This covenant also lays claim to any texts gifted to the
Council of Members as a whole.

This council lays claim to all magical items obtained by members of
the council while acting at the behest of the council; and all magical items
made by members of the council where the item was made using covenant vis. This covenant also lays claim to any
magical items gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.

This council lays claim to all monies generated using the resources of
the covenant. This council also lays claim to all monies obtained by members of the council while acting at the behest of the council. This covenant
also lays claim to any monies gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.

This council lays claim to the buildings, defenses, standard hermetic labs and chattels of the covenant. This council also lays claim to any such buildings,
defenses, chattels, and inhabitants gifted to the Council of Members as a
whole. The council may set aside a building or part therefore for a Member's sanctum.
With Council Permission a member may refine or customize a laboratory and claim the equipment within as there own.

The council may vote to expend, sell, trade or otherwise dispose of council resources.
The council lays claim to anything that it trades for or purchases.

Surplus resources of the covenant will be determined at the Winter
meeting of the Council of Members. Resources necessary for the continued existence of the covenant and the protection of its members’ rights are
accounted for frst; this includes payment for seasons of work performed on
behalf of the covenant, and a stipend of vis for the casting of the Aegis of
the Hearth. Contributions to all debts owed to the covenant are decided by
the disceptator, and set aside. The remaining resources are deemed surplus,
and shall be allocated to the settlement of requests from each member of the

Each and every member of this covenant and protected guests shall
be entitled to the basic rights of the covenant; to whit, full and unrestricted
access to the protection and support of the covenant within the boundaries of
the covenant by all the rights and benefts accorded by the Code of Hermes,
the beneft of a sanctum which shall remain inviolate and the supply of
materials thereof, access to the library of the covenant, and victuals appropriate to the status of a magus. These basic rights shall not be abridged
except by expulsion from the Council of Members.

In furtherance and additional to the basic rights, a full member of
the covenant shall be entitled to the full rights of the covenant; to whit, the
right to presence and a vote in the Council of Members, which he shall
exercise dutifully with due prudence. Further, full and unrestricted access to
the services and skills of the servants and covenfolk. Further, an equal right
to all surplus provision and store necessary to conduct his studies, or the
travel demanded by those studies; such rights to include (but be not limited
to) vis, monies, and diverse magical and mundane resources claimed by the
covenant. Where a conflict is evident between members of the council over
the allotment of surplus resource, distribution is drawn by ballot; excepting
that priority claims that have been advanced and agreed by the disceptator
are taken into consideration prior to the ballot. These rights shall not be
abridged except by decision of the council under conditions of grave concern.

Members of this covenant are obligated to obey the Oath of Hermes
and the Peripheral Code, as demanded by the Oath of Covenant; failure
on this account will not be tolerated by the Council of Members, and the
covenant reserves the right to censure those members who are convicted in just
Tribunal of an offense against the Order of Hermes.
The responsibility of the members of this covenant towards its lasting
success is dependent on service to the covenant. The Council of Members
will declare the duties that need to be performed at the regular meetings of
the covenant. Such duties include (but are not limited to) the safeguarding
and harvesting of the covenant’s claimed vis sources, the safeguarding and
harvesting of the covenant’s income, the wellbeing and discipline of the covenant’s employees, the maintenance of the covenant’s resources, the increase
of the covenant’s resources, and the maintenance of good relations with the
covenant’s allies. Duties that will not entail more than a week of service at
low personal risk will be assigned by the council to its members, with no
more than one being assigned to each member in each season, and no more than two in each year.
Such assigned duties attract no recompense or advantage to the member who discharges
them, but cannot be refused without reasonable extenuation. These are known as Minor Duties.
The Disceptator is exempt from minor duties other than executing the role of Disceptator

Duties which will entail a higher investment of time or personal risk
will be offered up for service by the covenant. These are known as Major Duties These services will attract a
remuneration which shall be commensurate with the time, risk, and potential
beneft to the covenant. This remuneration is decided by the disceptator, but
maintains a minimum payment which shall be, for a single season of work
at low risk with a low gain, two pawns of vis, of the flavor most prevalent
in the stores at the time. The disceptator may increase the remuneration to
increase the attractiveness of a particular urgent task, for the Council of

Members is only empowered to require one of these duties if the risk is low, not more than one season of time is required,
the member has not performed any other Major Duties in the past year, and
each other member has performed a Major Duty in the past year, or is performing one this year.
All members should strive to avoid Major Duties becoming mandatory, however it is understood this may become unavoidable in some situations.

All payments will be made in the Regular meeting of the Council. If there is more than one claimant for the
service, and each claimant refuses to share the duty, then the disceptator will
assign the duty by ballot. If there is insuffcient vis to meet the demands of
the council, the disceptator may withhold payment for one or more years.
Covenant work may be declared such retroactively.

All Duties shall be performed using Council Resources.

Furthermore, upon joining the covenant each new member is obligated to perform two seasons of service at low risk for the covenant without remuneration.

[size=150]Expulsion and Censure[/size]
It is a failing of the covenant if it comes to this.

If a member should contravene the decisions of the council, by vote or
by charter, then the member may be censured or expelled by a vote of the
Council of Members. Censure requires the passing of a motion at a meeting
of the Council of Members.

Expulsion is enacted by a Three Fourth vote of the Active Members.
Expulsion is the only means through which a member of the
covenant shall lose his basic rights; and requires that the former member
ceases to draw upon those basic rights subsequent to the first full moon after
expulsion was enacted.
Should a magus be cast out from the Order, he is automatically expelled from the covenant, and all rights are lost immediately.
An expelled member's personal resources should be set aside until such time as they have the ability to relocate them, except in the case of expulsion from the Order.

[size=150]Inactive Members[/size]
Any Member that is not an Inactive Member is an Active Member. Any Member that is known to be in Twilight is an Inactive Member. Any Active Member that misses three consecutive Regular Council Meetings while an Active Member becomes an Inactive Member upon missing the third meeting. Any Active Member may become an Inactive Member by informing the disceptator that they do not expect to be able to attend Council Meetings and wish to become an Inactive Member. Any Inactive Member may become an Active Member by informing the disceptator that they expect to be able to attend Council Meetings. Any Inactive Member that attends an Emergency Council Meeting becomes an Active Member should the Emergency reach quorum. Any Inactive Member that attends a Regular Council Meeting becomes an Active Member. There is no shame in being an Inactive Member.

Bleh, I'm tired. There are probably more tweaks to be done. Something about labs probably, and more about guests.

Well done. Good start.

We need to right something about temporary sancta. The council may allocate sanctum space temporarily /or/ permanently. I'll see if I can look through it later, and see where amendments are needed, if nobody beats me to it.

I wonder, do we want to give active and inactive members equal responsibilities? I think the wording should be changed so that rights and obligations apply to active members only. We may want to require due notice to reactivate memberships. Inactive members who suddenly claim full benefits makes planning a real hell. Thoughts?

This council lays claim to all monies generated using the resources of the covenant. This council also lays claim to all monies obtained by members of the council while acting at the behest of the council. This covenant also lays claim to any monies gifted to the Council of Members as a whole.

My Verditius would require more specificity to the above statement re "all monies generated using the resources of the covenant". He would require that the lab space allocated to individual magi are not considered covenant resources once allocated.

The making and selling of magic and quality items is his main purpose in life and any suggestion that the money he generates by that labour is not his and his alone would be unacceptable. He would absolutely accept that vis and money generated while on covenant "duty" would be the covenants would property.

I would suggest adding in "This council lays claim to all monies generated using the resources of the covenant." Lab space allocated to individual magi would not be considered a resources in this instance except when on covenant duties assigned by the council


Furthermore, upon joining the covenant each new member is obligated to perform two seasons of service at low risk for the covenant without remuneration.

I personally think this is a bit light. I would suggest "1 major duty per year for the first 5 years without remuneration on joining." to get us going in the early years.

We also need to tighten up membership in the suggested text. We have full and guest. Full can be active or inactive. Need to make sure a guest can't just attend a council meeting and claim full membership. I'll have a go at this myself over the next day or two if nobody beats me to it.

Even that may be light. By the looks of it, we have neither the vis, the money, the space, nor the equipment to do what we want, and we are required by the tribunal to set up four standard labs yesterday. I think we are looking at 100% service in the first year, and at least 50% in the second, then maybe, and just maybe, we can get down to a more normal one season per year.

We may write that the covenant requires that everybody has to do what it takes to get the covenant up an running within five years, whatever that might mean. In return, everyone gets an equal share in whatever surplus the covenant can afford. If we do so, nobody may be inactive members in this interim period.

In short, we need to think as a startup, and not as an established operation. We do not know what we can afford, and therefore we make no promises to members (except blood, sweat, and tears of course). Each time the council meets (possible 2-4 times per year in the interim period), work and resources are allocated fairly and squarely for the next period. I am seriously worried that limiting obligations and guaranteed rights will kill us within five years.

We may make this unlimited obligation permanent, or restricted to an interim startup period, which is defined either in time (five years) or in terms of objectives to be achieved (vis, money and lab for everyone). We may make the restriction well-defined, or leave it to the council's future judgement.

Accepting new members is rare, and we should define the joining conditions on a case by case basis. No need to define it up front, and what we require is going to depend on the situation we are in at the time.