Copying books

hmm, yr7's "copy" uses finesse. hoh:tl's "create and copy" uses a high intricacy modifier. No way would i trust a finesse roll, an unknown botch could be disastrous. And using vis makes it better to hire scribes. A mix of both would be better, yr7's copy, with +5 magnitudes for intricacy, and no finesse roll. Thats a level 35 spell. Not something easily cast unless you worked at it, or used a casting tablet.
So, now that you can copy a book, whats new.
You can have a huge library, but you already could, it's a matter of haggling with other covenant's. The cow and calf keeps that in check.
You can easily copy the contents of a library without the owning covenants consent, but casting a level 35 spell in an aegis will be tricky. And if you can manage that, you could have stole them normally, then leap of homecoming'd out.
All they let you do, is copy what already exists. They don't let you create virtual libraries unless you could do it already.
Easy copying just seems to make it easier to make a backup of your own library

As I mentioned before, for a covenant with money, the need for high finesse is lessened. They won't mind a few messed up piles of book making materials. A fairly simple intellego spell will tell you if you have made any mistakes in the copying, so no problem there.

It's the change in the value of books that is important here and the impact that it may have on the Order and the game setting.

But you don't have to copy the physical form of the book. You just have to copy the information in the book. This is a relatively easy spell and can be easily enchanted into a device. The Aegis really isn't much of a barrier to this. That's the problem...

Knowledge is power, etc.

OK, this statement I didn't understand... By virtual library I meant not existing in a solid, physical form but only in a magical medium.

Please re-read my last post and give me specific feedback. I am interested in your opinion, I just need you to be more specific when referring to my points.


No, that by itself is still a good idea, even if we say that magical copying isnt possible, a spell preventing a book from being copied or read by the wrong persons could still be highly useful.

That is where i certainly dont agree at all. Copying the information isnt something i would say is simple at all.
Its just very complex.

damn, a re-read and comment. i'll try (i feel like i'm back in school, shudder).

Yes, it would make it easier to steal a copy of a covenants library without arousing suspicion. But you could already steal the whole library, so long as you're willing to take the risk.

"Not so, I keep all my lab notes in the "public" section of my covenant's library. Feel free to browse them whenever you're in the area"

Yes, probably possible (though i'm not about to attempt to do it). But why bother? All it is, is a library in a device. Just the same as a library in a room, but more portable and compact. I doubt it's usefullness would be worth the vis.

Not "every book he came in contact with". Just "every book he has permission to copy, or which he copied without permission" And if he copied without permission, that PDA is pretty solid proof that he did so. Even so, carrying around every summa and tractus is pointless. Casting tablets could be useful, but only if you're in a situation where you couldn't leap of homecoming back to your covenant to get it.

Sticking to copying books, it doesn't devalue the books. The cow and calf still holds. The archmage you're haggling with isn't going to let you have it cheaper just because you can copy it quicker, he doesn't care how long it takes you, he's read it, or wrote it. Whether it takes a year to copy it, or just a few seconds, you'd pay the same.
If you break the cow and calf, you're in as much trouble whether you copied quickly or slowly.

As for changing how the information is stored, i can't see a problem. Same information, same rules. It's just a book with a different shape. Yes, you could have a device that allows you to carry around hundreds of casting tablets (assuming you have permission to copy them all). That could be powerful (though i'm not sure i'd say "broken"), but has nothing to do with fast copying books. I'd assume there would be a way to copy into the item at normal speed, normally done by scribes.

Ah, now I understand where the miscommunication lies.

I didn't mean to imply that any of this was over powered or that you would gain some amazing new benefit (other than convenience). I only meant that it could change the "look and feel" of the game setting.

Books (and what amounts to a book based economy) are an integral part of the setting. My examples above were only to illustrate some of the things that could happen with this new "technology."

My personal belief is that most people playing Ars Magica would never push the setting in these directions. Most people like Mythic Europe the way it is. I've been playing Ars Magica for over a decade (and three editions) and my wife for longer than that. Neither one of us have ever considered seriously "warping" the setting.

However, I run a game store. I've seen (and heard about at great length) far too many campaigns. I know exactly how twisted campaign settings can get. And, if that's what makes the game fun for them, that's great. It just isn't what makes it fun for me, my wife, or most of our friends...

The problem is, a couple of the people we are currently gaming with are much more into "speculative history". Rather than have a long discussion about "well, why can't I?" I'd rather nip the potential problem in the bud. Oh sure, we'd work it out fairly quickly. I'd just rather that their creativity were channeled onto other paths from the very beginning...

Sit vis vobiscum,


With this, the two seasons free copying we got as present from the rhine tribunal (at durenmar) should be a blast.....

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Ok, in some cases it might be overpowering...

Let us know how much you get. :wink:
(And how annoyed Durenmar gets...:frowning: )

Sit vis vobiscum,


LOL, you were saying people wouldn't because it wouldn't fit the game setting, and i was saying they wouldn't because it wouldn't do much? Now that's a classic bit of confussion. :smiley:

I won't do it, I do not think it is fitting, and since I am the mercurian and the one with the greatest interest in books, I would be the one called in for it.