Covenant Design Discussion

I'm good with the three points.

I see the build points as roughly:

Library: 300-400
Lab Texts: 0
Vis Sources: 150-200
Vis Stocks: 0-10
Enchanted Items: 0
Specialists: 35-50
Money: 5-10

TOTAL: 490-670

Essentially, 60% on the library, 30% on vis sources, and the remaining 10% on the rest (specialists getting the greatest share of those).

I have no specific wishes as to the exact distribution within each category. Although, as I mentioned before, it is fairly easy to ass mundane books to the library using silver so it might not be worth using build points for those.

I'm a bit unclear as to how many build points we have exactly. We started with 150, then the "lab-in-the-box" concept adds 49 bp for each magus who will spend 2 seasons to install his lab himself instead of being ready right away. Am I getting that right? So if 8 magi do that, we might get up to 542 bp?

At this point we have 6 magi committed to the lab in a box, with Agapitus (Joel Halpern) having expressed no preference., which gives us a total currently of 444 build points.

I am pretty sure you are counting me in the 6, as my mage is Evangelos.

sorry, Agapitos is Monk of Lords.

We're down a few magi, which drops us in build points. At one point we were at 544. But we can work with what we have.

How's this for a rough guess?

Library: 250-300
Lab Texts: 0
Vis Sources: 100-150
Vis Stocks: 0-10
Enchanted Items: 0
Specialists: 35-50
Money: 5-10

TOTAL: 390-510

What's the final total for the magi?

As far as I can see, we have the following players and magi:

  • Arthur / Maximilian of Verditius

  • Trogdor / Orion ex Merinita

  • Monkoflords / Agapitus of Mercere

  • JoelHalpern / Evangelos of Jerbiton

  • Vespertilio / Liberius of Bonisagus

  • Kareruren / Omphalos of Bonisagus

  • The Ambassador / Constantine of Jerbiton -- not finalized, player is MIA (last post on July 31)

So this would indeed be 444 bp.

Going from previous discussions, I am proposing the following:
Library (274 points)

  • Terram summa L23 Q12 (free from the Exceptional Book boon, on the Art that got the most votes)
    [*]Art #1 summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Art #2 summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Art #3 summa L13 Q18 (31 points)
  • Art #4 summa L13 Q18 (31 points)
  • Art #5 summa L12 Q14 (26 points)
  • Art #6 summa L10 Q15 (25 points)
  • Art #7 summa L8 Q21 (29 points)
  • Finesse summa L8 Q11 (35 points)
  • Magic Theory summa L8 Q11 (35 points)

Vis Sources (125 points)

  • 10 pawns/year in Vim (50 points) -- exact source to be determined
  • 10 pawns/year in Aquam (50 points) -- from the spring
  • 5 pawns/year in Rego (25 points) -- from the dam of the aqueduct

Vis Stocks (2 points)

  • 10 pawns of Vim vis (2 points)

Money (1 point)

  • 10 pounds of silver (1 point)

Specialists (42 points)

  • 1 book binder [Skill 6] (6 points)
  • 2 illuminators [Skill 6] (12 points)
  • 2 scribes [Skill 6] (12 points)
  • 1 ink maker [Skill 6] (6 points)
  • 1 percamenarius [Skill 6] (6 points)

That looks good to me.

For the Arts covered in the library, I would propose (in the library above):

Art #1 summa L16 Q15 (31 points) --> Creo
Art #2 summa L16 Q15 (31 points) --> Intellego
Art #3 summa L13 Q18 (31 points) --> Aquam
Art #4 summa L13 Q18 (31 points) --> Animal
Art #5 summa L12 Q14 (26 points) --> Vim
Art #6 summa L10 Q15 (25 points) --> Corpus
Art #7 summa L8 Q21 (29 points) --> Imaginem

That's a soft suggestion, however. I picked the topics semi-randomly as stuff that might be useful. Since I'm sure we will try to expand the library aggressively right away, I'm sure any subject that individual magi are interested in will quickly be covered.

Also, with 2 scribes, 2 illuminators and 1 book binder dedicated to the covenant's use (that's aside from the scriptorium income source), we will quickly be able to make copies of our books for trade. That is, as soon as our scribes and illuminators have been trained in Magic Theory.

I am not counting Constantine, but am counting Aureliano of Mercere, who is technically a magus and entitled to a sanctum with lab even if they can't do anything with it (besides optimize it for copying texts or teaching or some such)
If you spend build points on scribes etc. I would assume they are trained at level 1 magic theory. If we recruit them from the scriptorium we will need to train them.

Even quicker to begin making copies of our summae to expand the library.

Our skilled scribes can copy 12 levels of summa per season, so each of them can crank out 3 copies of a L16 summa each year if they do nothing else. (Questions, do they work 4 seasons a year or are they rather abstracted as 2 seasons like most mundanes are? I would suggest that 2 seasons a year makes more sense.)

We may need one of the magi to act as diplomat to trade copies of additional summae to complete our library. I'm sure we'll be able to get a few tractatus from magi interested in studying our exceptional book. We can certainly publicize that while visiting other covenant when arranging trades for other books.

So long as it's dealing with other magi, Orion can do it. If it's dealing with mundane people for mundane texts, we should let our Gentle-gifted magus do that.

For the mundane texts, we can also use my companion, Christophoros the schoolmaster.

I had assumed that our books would be subject to the usual restrictions against making copies for others (I forget the terms the book uses for copyright, since copyright has not been invented yet.)

True enough, they would probably be covered by Cow and Calf Oath. TSE makes no mention of it, but we can probably assume that it does.

The prices mentioned in that paragraph are the Level in pawns for a vain or sound summa, with tractatus usually going for 2 pawns.

Of course, mundane books do not have that problem, so we could start by having our scribes making copies of summae in Artes Liberales, Philosophiae, etc.

It depends on whether the summae were covered by the Cow and Calf Oath. From what I've seen, lower level summae are often not covered by the oath. Remember, imposing the C&C oath reduces their value. That's the good news. The bad news is that without the C&C oath, those summae are more plentiful and therefore worth less in trade.

But yea, we might be forced to write a few ourselves. :slight_smile:

BTW, since I have a middling Com with no Good Teacher bonus, what other ways do we have access to in order to up the quality of a book?

At a minimum, lab texts for spells we know should be free from Cow and Calf, once we take the time to write them down legibly for our scribes to make copies.

As for how prevalent Cow and Calf is in Thebes, I think we'll have to let silveroak tell us what kind of environment we will face. It might not be worth it to have 2 scribes and 2 illuminators as specialists if we cannot keep them occupied.

Here's a few mundane books which should be fairly easy to obtain and make copies of. Some of them may need to be translated from Latin (marked by a ):
Artes Liberales
Ars grammatica - Ars minor (L4Q15 summa) by Donatus
]*Ars grammatica - Ars major (tractatus Q12) by Donatus

  • *De inventionae (3 tractatus Q14) by Cicero
  • Categories (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle
  • On Interpretation (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle
  • Prior Analytics (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle
  • Posterior Analytics (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle
  • On Sophistical Refutations (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle


  • Herbal (L5Q14 summa) by Crateaus

Mythic Herbalism

  • Herbal (L10Q9 summa) by Crateaus


  • Nicomachean Ethics (L6Q12 summa) by Aristotle
  • Physics (L6Q12 summa) by Aristotle
  • Metaphysics (2 tractatus Q12) by Aristotle
  • On the soul (tractatus Q12) by Aristotle

Profession: Apothecary

  • Herbal (L10Q9 summa) by Crateaus


  • Periphyseon (L4Q8 summa) by John Scotius Eriugena
    I don't have Art and Academe, so I don't know how books covering multiple Abilities (such as Herbal) are copied.

Also, if we can get our hands on some of the tractatus scribe by Heron (as in Mechanica of Heron), there might be some demand for that. The originals are in Greek.

I looked through Covenants and answered my own question. You get a +1 in Quality each for a summa from having a skilled scribe, a skilled binder, and a skilled illuminator. Unfortunately, you only start with Com + 3 instead of Com + 6. So to get Com + 6 as a base Quality, we'd need the skilled scribe, binder, and illuminator. That might be reason enough to keep them on the payroll. Because I don't think anyone's going to pay a thing for a Quality 3 summa. Quality 6 is low enough (Quality 7 with a resonance).

Do we have any high-Com, Good Teachers in the covenant?

Cow and Calf is very uncommon in Thebes, but because Thebes is linguistically insular (writing in Classic Greek rather than Latin) books are less common, so the price effects balance out. Latin books are much more likely to be covered by cow and calf, but enforcement in Thebes would be spotty- essentially there is a sect of Tytalus magi who declare wizard wars on violators, and if it was translated into Classic Greek (which is not easy) they are even less likely to pursue the issue since it does not affect the market outside of Thebes.
Within Thebes you have the potential to earn a shard if the original author brings a case for not providing attribution or acknowledging them as the original author. Or they could declare wizard war, though of course you could petition a decree of defamation on those grounds as well...
as for the use of the skilled scribe, illustrator, and binder, they are technically only required to have a skill in magic theory (and then only the scribe) when they are copying the book, not when being used to produce an initial book. Also if their workshop total (dex+abillity+workshop bonuses) is over 12 they can give additional bonuses to the quality of the final product. This however would take the kind of investure of development of skill and workshop that would require characters (even grogs) be dedicated to the project rather than simply purchased specialists. If you do not purchase the specialists they will be assumed to be available as part of the costs for writing described in covenants.

Yes, we need one of each to benefit from the full quality of books, but if we don't have a high volume of copying/scribing/illuminating, do we need 2 scribes and 2 illuminators?

As for high-Com, Good Teachers, we have my companion Christophoros the Schoolmaster (Com +2 and Good Teacher), Kareruren's Omphalos of Bonisagus (Com +1 and Good Teacher), Vespertilio's Liberius of Bonisagus (Com +4 and Good Teacher) and to a lesser degree Monkoflords' Agapitus (Com +3).

Well Omphalos isnt a shabby scribe either 2 (lab texts) though to be entirely fair his better versed in latin because while the thebes tribunal prefers classic greek, the order by and large still uses as its prima lingua. But yea we have a bunch of good teachers in the covvie, though my primary subjects will end up being apprentices.