I read Russell's A History of Western Philosophy which helped with The Republic at school and thought "good luck with that".
Platonic ideal, baby.
I'll emphasize again that no one is getting vis for free. The members are responsible for maintaining the covenant. For example, right now, the members still have 3-4 labs to set up.
For most magi, the motivation to visit the covenant is to explore the region that lies beyond the borders of the Order. That's why the covenant is there.
I'd actually always assumed that Fray's covenant was still standing (if somewhat smoking, and not all standing), just that Fray had left it to get away from the memory of his wife's death and, possibly, the people he viewed as having caused it. I hadn't realised it was flat out destroyed.
I have absolutely no objections to the basic idea that everyone ends up with pretty much the same vis income in the end. I had thought that using the "work for vis" model over the proposed "mandatory season of covenant service per year in exchange for probationary membership and vis income" model allowed for increased flexibility for magi whilst getting roughly the same income (depending on rates - my understanding is that covenant members will only be getting 5 pawns per year even after the saga goes up to 10 pawns per magus), but it does make sense that the relative prestige of the two options would matter to many magi.
That said, I don't want to destroy the basic idea of the covenant being essentially a support facility for visitors, which I tend to see as likely to effectively happen if everyone who comes along gets the option for some type of membership (I may be misjudging this, but I have the impression that this would be taken up on largely automatically, particularly if it was the main way to a vis income, at which point almost every magus essentially becomes a covenant member rather than a visitor). I do prefer the idea of visitors still being supported by their home covenants (and if someone wants to come from a particularly rich one, they can always taken Personal Vis Source and say it derives from additional home covenant resources).
This does have the potential to create the situation in which visiting magi are actually better off than the covenant magi, as they don't have to put time into maintaining the covenant (or can turn the time they do spend into additional vis). I think I'm actually largely okay with this, although if other people are less so I'm happy to listen to proposals to avoid the effect.
This does all leave the issue of where Fray's vis is coming from. If you're happy with the idea that he never actually formally resigned membership, and the other covenant's not actually completely dead, then he could potentially still have an income even though he's not based there any more. Alternatively, if the covenant is dead dead, maybe he somehow was left holding the legal ownership to some of its vis sources, which the Mercere are collecting for him?
MTKnife, could you clarify how the 10 x magi vis income will work if the non-members' vis doesn't come from the covenant in some fashion? Is it:
- The covenant has 3 x 10 pawns income, half of this is paid to the 3 member magi, the visitors get 10 pawns a year from other sources.
- The covenant has 3 x 10 pawns income, half of this is paid to the 3 member magi, the visitors get 5 pawns a year from other sources.
- The covenant has 5 x 10 pawns income, half of this is paid to the 3 member magi, the visitors get X pawns a year from other sources.
- The covenant has 5 x 10 pawns income, the 3 member magi get 5 pawns each a year, the visitors get X pawns a year from other sources.
I assume the second option is the mostly likely, but would be good to be clear (and it doesn't technically agree with the 10 x magi description).
#2 looks right.
I'm working on the finances--before I look through posts, does anyone remember if Patrick was around long enough to set up his lab-in-a-field?
I've nearly got the finances squared away, but I still need to figure out the treasury (I need to figure out which lab upgrades happened when, in order to adjust expenses for earlier years). Two observations: #1), unless an income source is put into operation ASAP, the treasury will be gone at the end of this year; and #2), once all three income sources are in operation, the covenant will be bringing in more than twice what it needs for expenditures. Wow, wasn't planning on that (but putting all the labs into commission will increase expenses by a certain amount).
I thought this had been set-up, as he had started creating the mutated creatures. There was a thread earlier where we may have had to deal with them, but it was decided that he took the creatures with him when he also took the trough.
Suggest the covenant decommission the field lab. I cannot see it being used by the current guests or members.
If we don't, it will fall into disuse and decay (possibly rapidly being outside?). Best to strip it of anything useful while setting up another lab. (Could give a bonus to that process, since it's more "moving" a lab than setting up a new one? Don't have Covenants w/ me, forget if there's a significant diff, but I want to remember there is.)
I just looked it up, and moving a lab costs three seasons, vs. two for setting it up--but in this case, since we're not moving it very far, and therefore it doesn't have to be crated up, we can treat it as just setting a lab up.
At any rate, I need to go back and figure out if he set it up in the first place, not because we want to keep it, but to calculate the expenses for the year(s) in question.
EDIT: Here's the last version of Patrick's seasonal activities plan: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/seasonal-activities-and-advancement/6214/16. It looks like he set aside one season to create longevity ritual, but no time actually to set up a lab. Since he apparently needed the longevity ritual by the end of the year, I'm going to say he did actually set up the lab, and used it for one season, and I'll adjust the expenses thusly.
I think since Patrick arrived before Portia left, so therefore got the benefits of her casting Laboratory of Bonisagus rather than needing to set it up himself.
So what that says is that for anything like a "basic" lab it's easier to not worry about it than to try to recreate it exactly. That makes sense for a complex lab, but not so much for a basic one, which I would think(?) would be easier if the basic building blocks are already in place and organized and simply being moved next door.
Oh well, so much for that...
Ah, yeah. So I need to charge the accounts for two years of his lab, actually. Thanks.
For anyone who cares....
amul had Patrick's lab listed as having an Upkeep of +5, due to being Outdoors--but, despite it's location, I think Patrick's wards (which, presumably, kept out rain and the like) really preclude treating it as truly having the Outdoors Flaw. Since he also had Magical Heating, I'm going to treat the Upkeep as +2 for purposes of our accounts.
OK, I've rejiggered the expenses a little bit, taking into account the actual (not the originally planned) number of inhabitants, and calculating costs per Inhabitants point, rather than rounding up, as well as adding in cost savings in the Buildings category for the mason and carpenter. The yearly expenses for 1228 will be 82.5 pounds, plus sundries.
I also adjusted the treasury, deducting expenses for 1226 and 1227 (adjusing for changes to the labs over the previous two years, and inflation). I deducted 19 pounds for sundries, leaving a total of 110 pounds in the treasury--that's enough for this year (1228), but income is going to be necessary very soon.
We are now officially up-to-date on bookkeeping, which is where I wanted to be before adding new players.
Which is to say, we're almost broke. I could have told you that without doing the books.
Actually...that leads to a couple of questions....
First, I think that, starting in 1228, I'm going to treat at least some of the "visiting" magi as permanent inhabitants, if they intend to live at Nova Castra permanently: it seems odd to pay only half cost for "guests" who are living at the covenant indefinitely. This might also involve adjusting the number of permanent covenfolk, if these newly resident magi bring grogs or other covenfolk with them.
Second, in looking at the finances, I've discovered that the covenant will have way, way more income than it needs, once all three sources are put into operation (more magi and the fielding of the promised cavalary force will put a dent into the budget, but the covenant will still be quite well-off). I think that, when we created the covenant, we might have mistakenly believed that the Secondary Income Boon gave a Lesser rather than a Typical source of income. What would the rest of you think about trading one of the Secondary Incomes for another Boon?
(Is that even possible? Have you seen the wishlist of a typical PC mage?)
Seriously, if we actually do have enough - and "enough" defined as a strong positive cashflow even after we make all immediate improvements plus more tbd - I'd be all in favor of it.
The dealbreaker is if the magi have to find a new source of income in the future to have the money to throw at problems down the road. Penny-pinching and a "strong" covenant are oxymoronic.