Copying Quality under Extended Rules

When using the Covenant Extended Rules for Book Qualities, it is not explicitly stated but the rules seem to imply that the quality of a copied book can be modified by the skills of the copier. Examples include Exemplars, Flap-bound books and Juvenilia all of which are poor quality copies which are then used later to make better quality copies.

So if the typical sound tractatus is 11, presumably that is because it has Professional Scribes, Illumination and Book Binding. If someone with less than 6 in those three scores copied the book then it would presumably drop to Quality 8 which would be vain quality.

Could not a covenant buy a vain tractatus and then have professional scribes, illumanators and book binders copy the vain tractatus giving it a +3 to the original quality?

In my opinion, it wouldn't actually be a vain tractatus if its quality was reduced because it didn't have the "full 6" bonus (+3 from from skilled scribe, binder, and illuminator and +3 resonant materials). Though one might still be able to acquire it cheaper than a "perfect" book. Yes, I am aware that the designation of vain/sound doesn't actually take this into account but...

[EDIT: Obviously, the resonant materials issue does not apply to books on mundane subjects but I'm not sure if the Hermetic quality classifications of vain/sound are used for mundane books either.]

Remember covenants are not nearly as "strictly" balanced as PCs. You can freely choose the number of build points within a range band, so purchasing improperly scribed books at covenant creation just to save build points and immediately declare they get re-scribed is a rather pointless exercise in munchkinism.

On the other hand, it's certainly possible that you might want to play this situation out. This is fair! Of course, you need a good reason why the books are in such a form; but for a spring covenant that has just been set up, it makes perfect sense that a lot of books might still be exemplars.

Then, perhaps there's the issue of recruting those specialists. Even just the infighting between magi about which tractatus get boosted first might yield interesting stories. These are all possible Hooks. You might then represent the "extra" points that can be "created" via re-binding, illumination etc. through the Hidden Resource Boon.

If you use the extended book rules, you need extended bookkeeping too. A vain Q8 tractatus is not just a vain Q8 tractatus. I could be either a sound Q11 tractatus in a poor format, and thus restorable to Q11, or it could be sound Q11 damaged beyond repair, or it could be vain Q8 tractatus in good shape, or it could even be a crap Q5 in perfect shape with all the trimmings (theoretically that is, but Q6 +2 resonnance is not completely bonkers).

So yes, you can do that, in some cases.

It follows from this, that when you Com +5 good teacher magus writes a book, it is probably going to be Q11. It is only when you get all the master craftsmen working on it that it becomes Q14. Some of the low quality books could actually be original manuscripts.

my impression of exemplars at least is that they are hasty copies as well as not having the bonuses for binding, scribe, or illumination, but that they could be used to demonstrate the actual book which when sold would be copied more carefully from the original rather than from the exemplar.

"Exemplars are miniature books created as templates for distant scribes and illuminators. Exemplars are extremely cheap to make, and very easy to transport, compared to full-sized books. An exemplar
has a –3 modification to quality."

"template for distant scribes" sounds like you can recreate the original quality of book from just the exemplar otherwise the term template should not have been used.

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okay, then that would be simply missing the scribe, illumination, and bookbinder bonus.

I have always assumed that it is the same as a book written with shorthand annotations, bock capital letters (in their medieval graphism equivalent) on a lousy medium (like paper), in a small size font and page size, and using only black ink. You can read it alright, but it is a pain to do so. It is like having the normal version of a book, the cheap small font softback or the collector's edition with illustrations on steroids. We are talking about the cheapest softcover version here.

I have assumed the same, but it is strange that the penalty for this substandard book is exactly the same as a full-format normal book made by skilled non-master craftsmen with scores of 5. I really cannot imagine it being that hard to read a book just because the the script it just because script, illumination and binding is just good, and not perfect.

I don't know that I would call an ability of 6 perfect. It doesn't exactly fit with the rules for quality from city and guild either though...

True, but the years difference between C&G and Covenants is pretty big, they probably weren't planned in tandem.

Whatever. A score of 5 is very good.