Copying books

Following the RAW, you can copy carefully 1 tractatus in one season. Alternatively, you get 6 + Profession (Scribe) points towards a summa. When these points reach the level of the summa, it is completed. Since ability summa might be good even with a level below 6, I understand from this that with as little as 1 level in Profession (Scribe), it is easier to copy an ability summa than it is to copy a tractatus. Is it right?

Maybe it would be a good houserule to make it level+quality for Summae.

Well, while it says nothing about it in the copying section, when writing an Ability summa you multiply the level by 5 when figuring out the points needed (page 165). I sort of assume that the same is meant for the copying,

Actually, I don't think this would make sense. The Quality of a book expresses how well and clear the book is. It does not mean the work is longer or more difficult to copy.

For tractatus, it might make more sense to assign a number of points that need to be accumulated to copy it. That way, a good scribe might be able to copy more than one in a season, or at least copy part of a second tractatus within the season.

The number 6 comes to mind, since any magus can copy a tractatus in a season. So a copyist with no Profession: Scribe can copy one tractatus in a season. If he has Scribe at 3, then he can copy 3 tractatus in 2 seasons.

It seems to me that you are implicitly assuming that you can copy multiple summas in a season; more precisely, that any "copy points" (from the Scribe+6 pool) remaning after you have finished "paying" for a summa can be spent to start copying another. Serf's parma, but does the RAW explicitly allow you to do this?

Second paragraph in "Copying Books" on p. 166 of the main rule book seems to. Second sentence says "she may make three copies of a tractatus (or one copy of each of three tractatus, and so on) in a season", which looks like you can apply your Scribe score to multiple books. The clause only mentions tractatus, but there's no reason why it wouldn't apply to summae, as well.

Tractatus use a different mechanic altogether. They do not make use of the Scribe + 6 pool of "copy points". The question here is whether, in a season in which a character Scribe + 6 pool exceeds the number necessary to finish copying a summa, the leftover points can be applied to start work on a new summa in the same season. I recall nothing in the book saying that you can.

Been there. We generally have applied the rules for multiple lab activities. You can copy another book with the leftover points, but must be the same kind of book (summa) for you to do that. It certainly does not unbalance the game at all, and makes the copying that costs 2 seasons +1 point to copy not a 3 season activity but a 2 seasons and a little bit more activity, which seems more sensible to us. YMMV :slight_smile: Certainly not a game breaker at all.


With regard to the ease of copying ability summae, a smart house rule might be to make the total required for an ability summa (level x5) rather than just (level). This would match the additional effort required to write an ability summa vs. an art summa.

Yeah, that's how I've always seen it. You can copy a tractatus, or you can copy summae, but not both. And if you copy summae, you get your (Scribe + 6) or (3 x (Scribe + 6)) points per season to apply toward levels of summa(e).

Thanks everyone, for the input!

I think I will do as suggested : (levelx5) for abilitiy summae, with house rule allowing multiple writing activity in a season.