Covenants Question - Lab Safety

Hi All,
just a quick question about the Safety rules for Laboratories in the Covenants book:

From the description given a positive safety is ideal, however can anyone see a benefit of having a high safety?

A nice lab could have a safety of +2, but is there any benefit to designing the lab for +5 or +9?

As always, thanks for your help.

Experimentation. That's the big one. It allows for safe experiments. You can easily rack up botch dice in the 5+ region. Which is really important if you break out the rules for original research or just want to use a high experimentation bonus. You can also do inane things like installing a bunch of people in your lab to boost corpus suddenly.

Any serious researchers lab is going to have safety aura+1+risk mod, and a various experimental boosting features if he/she has room.

From left field, yes! It's easier to grow into a lab that was bigger then you needed then to keep moving into bigger spaces, but it's unsafe until you use the space, so a built in +7 to safety could be "used" for years, letting you improve your lab on your time schedule.

Studying from raw vis.

It has been suggested that the Safety characteristic of the lab reduces the number of botch dice if the study is performed within the lab, even though studying from raw vis can be done without a lab.

I had forgotten the bit about the botch dice in experimentation. That is a very good point.

I am not sure if there is a limit to the number of people you are allowed to enter your lab - surely after a certain number it becomes a minor virtue instead of free?

None of my magi have ever lived long enough to study from vis, it had been a long time since I read those rules.

Thanks for all that, for now my magus will have to make do with safety +3 - boosting his General Quality has a higher priority for him.

If you've got an apprentice or similar and their intelligence is negative, the safety bonus helps offset the safety penalty imposed for having a child trying to do experiments with explosives and sulphur.

I have a question of my own regarding lab safety:

Can safety reduce the botch dice to zero?

I can't find any specific statement in Covenants.

Normally things state specifically when they can, so I would tend to say no.

I've found that most things that can't specifically say so as well.

I'd personally rule it the same: minimum one botch die. But I can't find any text to clarify that one way or another, hence the question. :slight_smile:

on covenants p. 111 "The safety score is subtracted from the number of botch dice on all lab activities."

That's not quite explicit enough, since often times things that subtract botch dice will explicitly say that it can reduce botch dice to 0 or it cannot reduce botch dice to 0. So, here we are debating as to which way it should go.

To my mind, it should allow botch dice to go to 0, as getting a high safety score is a personal choice of a magus, and requires a lot of time and investment.

I'd say it would depend on the lab activity. Arcane experimentation in a lab project? No. Studying from Vis? Yes.


Because I would take the lack of specification to mean it is situation dependant- if you choose extra risk by arcane experimentation then (IMO) you can't get rid of the possibility of botching. Studying from vis is about as routine a lab exercise as I can think of that involves stress dice.

As far as I can tell, getting rid of the botch dice from experimentation is the main purpose of having a positive safety.
And strictly speaking, studying from Vis is not a lab activity.

I think it is going to be a GM call as to what it does or does not allow to go to zero, those were just personal examples of how I would go...
on the other hand if you allow arcane experimentation to bring botch dice to zero then safety really becomes how much of a lab bonus is free, since it has no risk of botching...

Have you read through the experimental tables?
Doing away with botches are far from making it safe.

When your safety hits the 15, you can almost think you are out of trouble, even if your aura becomes 10. But... vis involved (+1 / pawn) , risk (+1 /+3), aura (+1 / +10), all are dangerous factor, even if you do not take flaws like careless sorcerer into account.

(For any experimentating magus, I suggest taking luck, and I suggest letting it come into play during experimentation. It is one of the few rolls in the game purely based on luck, and if luck doesn't give bonus here, it is not worth its 1 point value. When luck comes in, you will have often discoveries.)

A magic aura shouldn't add botch dice to Hermetic magic or experimenting with Hermetic magic. Where does it say that it does?

Under the Arcane Experiments section. Specifically the Extraordinary Results on page 108.

Thanks, I just couldn't find it.