Elaborate Laboratory Help

So, I would like to request some help in regards to creating my laboratory, I don't have a big problem with figuring out what virtues and flaws to put into it, I just have some doubt about how to do some of it in the actual game:

The lab is supposed to be place of isolation, and I'd like as few people to know about it as possible in essence, it should only be accessible through something like The Leap of Homecoming.

Subterranean – I'm thinking I could temporarily turn myself into an animal using a spell (like an earthworm) and cast my excavation spell once I've reached the proper depth, (I have Subtle Magic and Still Magic x2) but I'm not sure whether I retain my mental faculties or not.

To make the chamber, can I simply modify the Conjuring the Mystic Tower to do away with the dirt, or is there some other spell that would better do the job?

The chamber itself is going to be perfectly spherical (I'm hoping that it will qualify for Auspicious Shape, another reason as to why I don't want another way to enter, any kind of door would likely mar the sphere), with a radius roughly 14 feet. In order to take full advantage of the chamber, I'm planning to have a sphere in the centre which will repulse anyone and anything from it (essentially creating artificial gravity, but this is one of the points I'm the least certain on) giving me a total surface area of 2500 square feet to work on (+7 Size).

Inexhaustible Supply: is there any way of actually getting these, outside of starting with or some kind of hermetic research?

Lastly for actually adding Virtues and Flaws, am I the only one who can do it? I know that refinement will require someone who's been working in the lab for some time to actually improve it, but I can't find any such clause with adding Virtues and Flaws, only that you require a Magic Theory that equals 3+Refinement.

Thank you in advance.

Arcane Snowman.

I have no useful response here but it sounds like a really cool idea for a lab! :smiley:

CtMT is a ritual, as you dont actually need to create something here, that shouldnt be needed.

Re(Mu)Te 25
Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Mu, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +2 to include ability to affect any Terram material

This would allow you to move earth, stone, metals, any Terram material around while making it easy to work with(like not needing to bother about density). This also means the chamber can be given supersolid walls as part of the spell. A very useful spell overall.
If your mage is good with the used Arts, optionals could be to use Group or +1 to size or drop the inclusion of being able to affect anything up to metals and gemstones, or even Stone if you know it will be nothing but dirt.

If you didnt, i think magi would be far less common, and have a BIG "DO NOT DO THIS" warning against shapeshifting. :mrgreen:

Totally qualifies i think.

It´s doable, but you may get some very differing opinions on how it can or should be done.
It´s a bit tricky to do though. A Rego Co Base 5 with ALL other Forms as nonadding Requisites(the req´s dont add more effects, just more forms to the base effect) should work. Can be kept relatively low level but might still be hard with all the req´s.

No. Though with your setup, others probably have a hard time coming and going unless the magi is constantly there helping anyway.

This is a very cool idea :smiley:

And anyway it simply doesn't do what you want done here.
My first instinct is to use a perfectly-shaped Perdo Terram spell, although that begs the question of how to keep the new wall stable.

You definitely retain your mind and can cast spells - see the Muto Corpus guidelines (page 132), fourth paragraph.

I agree with Direwolf. I also want to point out that there's no reason anything has to be in the center of the room. A magic effect with Target:Room will do whatever you design it to do, including move everything towards the wall; modern "artificial gravity" sensibilities don't need to enter into it.

Not exactly what you were looking for, but I remember a magus (Verditus) with a device that created tools at range voice.
He could put it at some corner of his lab, and then call out the name of the tool and it would appear in his hand.
Arguably no how Voice works, but cool enough effect that the SG allowed it.

Since these tools were created via creo magic, and to his specifications ("2 pound hammer, please!"), these were declared to be Perfect Tools, with no mantainance - thus qualifying for the -1 Upkeep.

If that were a spell, I would think it would need a Finesse roll (the "perfect specimen" part of Creo applies only to naturally occurring things IMO)....
(Do enchanted items use the Finesse of the person who instilled the effect?)

No, of the person using the item. So giving a mundane Mason a ReTe "chisel to cut stone" enchantment encourages that you teach them Finesse, or accept an untrained Finesse roll. :open_mouth:

(Whether that, in turn, then implies that all their Mason skill is irrelevant, or whether Mason replaces innate "Terram" knowledge that a mage would have is a matter of some debate). :confused:

I had a lab like this for a big Rego mage.

It was about 25-30' diameter hollow sphere*, but with an additional 7-10' sphere* "floating" in the middle - to hang stuff off of. Rego magic created the "gravity"/etc. He did, indeed, ReCo to teleport in/out - it was about 100 paces into solid rock beneath the foundations of the covenant (but within the bounds of the Aegis, if conceived as a rough sphere, which limited the distance.)

(* Approx dimensions - forget the exact, but these are close. The three-dimensional surface of the main sphere gives a false reading of "area" in a useful sense. I used a sphere 3' less in radius to represent "table level", which imo was an approximate measure of the useful area. Headspace was even less, by about half. With the floor at a radius of approx 2x the height of a person, two head-high objects, with their bases X distance apart, would have their tops approx X/2 distance apart due to the relatively tiny radius of the sphere. Made for some demanding specifications on furniture. Gave up on ordering from any carpenter (or Rego-Crafting it) and just brought them on site, and used Mentem to wipe their memories afterwards.)

And this was before Mysteries, so Hermetic Architecture did not exist - so using a lab to enchant the floor of that lab (and a large sphere of stone) had to be faked a bit, esp all in a spherical room without any "gravity" to start.

And, like you, the hardest part was figuring out how he "sensed" the location to hollow it out in the first place. (Earthworm might work if it was dirt, but this was bedrock.)

A large InTe spell can do it, but he settled on a mobile InIm (vision) effect with a mobile light source - the concept being that he could "see" the rock, just only at distance = 0. He then used a "Range:Sight" based PeTe to hollow out a bit, and Artes Liberales (math) several times to confirm it was approximately where he wanted it. Once it was large enough, he ReTe'd an Arcane Connection and never risked needing a Finesse roll to arrive "on location".

Of course, another problem is "Sanctum", which, as ruled in the Peripheral Code, must be a contiguous area, and one clearly labeled. My mage chose secrecy over such open declaration, and had a "private lab" that he never used (except as a teleporting point) as a front.

Imagination and Troupe acceptance are the only limits.

Maybe a portal of some sort? Or a deal w/ some terram-based fae or elementals?

Mine had to do it the old fashioned way, via a pair of items, two iron rings that stuff would have to fit in to. For "trash day", the outer ring was placed over the dump, but usually was kept in his technical Sanctum.

Open to interpretation. Maybe only lab's owner, maybe any mage, maybe requires The Gift, maybe only MT 3+, maybe craftsmen under a magi's supervision, maybe it has to do with Intelligence, maybe maybe maybe.

(Refinement is annoying as defined - that if anyone with a lesser Int uses the lab, refinement is lost. But that seems to echo into this subject as well, unfortunately.)

Remember that having an Occupied Size of +7 will add 7 extra botch dice so you might wan to leave it mostly empty (and clean). You will also have to find some way to clean it up.

Permanently active effect such as your artificial gravity might cause Warping too. But don't let rule get in the way of a cool lab.

Well, I was planning on creating a “miniature sun” in the middle of the lab, an orb that projects heat and light and figured that that could also do the job of ensuring that people wouldn't fall if they were upside down. I like the Rego Corpus thing, but wouldn't it require any magi who enter the sphere to lower their parma?

I just mentioned artificial gravity because that was the best approximation I could make.

My mage isn't particularly awesome at Rego, Muto or Terram (6,1 and 6) but that just means I'll be studying a bit more.

You raise some very valid points, making the laboratory not my sanctum would probably be the best course of action then. Likewise, changing the size of the sphere might be an idea then.

My thoughts on the subject was an InTe spell to “sense” my depth in regard to the surface, then change into a burrowing creature of some sort, although doing some sort of Terram spell that'll allow me to permeate through rock and dirt will probably be more useful, add in a lesser enchanted item to provide me with air and it should be all good.

My magus is studying in the ways of Vim, but he's got a Tormenting Master, so to continue his studies, he's decided to make an almost impenetrable lab, and this one of the better ideas I came up with.

The end result I'm aiming for is several platforms hovering inside the sphere containing what one can actually walk on, the platforms will be moving around in a seemingly random fashion, going in and out of one or more connected regiones, creating a kind of hyperspherical labyrinth (he won't know it as such, but it'll just be a testament to his achievements and it'll confuse the hell out of anyone who isn't there because he allows it). Then of course, I need to add in the decor at some point, but all in good time.

I'm well aware of this, heck the lab has a Warping of 3, before we take into account the flying platforms and artificial gravity, and I can honestly say, I don't care because it's going to be awesome once it's finished :smiley: . It just means I might have to get some magical items that increase safety, I've realdy got enough space that getting most of the valid +safety virtues is possible.

Maybe it's good to have something in the center after all, to block the view - just for the psychological benefit of not always feeling like the other half of your lab is going to fall on you :smiling_imp:

It seems to me that regardless of how you implement the artificial gravity/repelling sphere, it's going to have to penetrate any Parma Magica the visitors have....

Yeah, that's what I thought, shouldn't be a huge problem though.

Also, now that I think about it, where are the rulings regarding sancta? I mean, would enough labling be instead of having a "miniature sun" in the middle of the lab, I instead have a decent sized sanctum symbol?

Labs are such fun. I hope you are playing Verditius, but if not, you can still do very nicely. First, as far as Inexhaustible Supply, Runic Magic from Ancient Magic is your friend. You can hunt for things like Odin's magic ring, which makes duplicates of itself and either just use them for supplies, or use them to research Runic Magic (which I recommend if you are going for a legendary lab. Real Heat! Real Light! Inexhaustible supplies of whatever you need! Including +3 food and +3 drink (City and Guild rules on quality) for a -3 (no warping!) to your aging roll!).
Second, as to other people putting in virtues and flaws for you, a qualified yes. A greater focus : Anvil and similar should be no problem. Well insulated? no problem. That portal for summoning? Probably not.
Size is an issue for safety, but there seems to be nothing in the rules stopping you from making your lab bigger after the fact, so make sure your Magic Theory is high, which you should be doing anyway because your're a labrat, and just make sure your Refinement stays ahead of your negative Safety. Also remember that you can add a level of Refinement when you set up your lab (Years you've worked in lab (zero) is equal to the starting Refinement of the Lab (zero)). Six years in Ars Magica goes pretty quickly, so start with a size zero lab, and you will be up to a size seven (safely!) before you know it.

Yep. That is RAW.

Although it could be a good HR that a character using an enchanted item can substitute Profession:Mason (or whatever is appropriate to the item) instead of Finesse. Maybe with a +3 Ease Factor.

I remember this being not a house rule but a normal rule. But can't find it (C&G? Core?...)

I don't think it is.

Noble's Parma --- have you looked for it in Covenants?

Covenants, under craft magic.

Lol, i was so focused on the OPs description on how he wanted to do it that i totally forgot about using Target Room.

Yes, or that you put enough Penetration into whatever item you use that it will "always" be effective..
This will be true whatever method you choose though.

Well, fortunately the kind of spell you need isnt terribly highlevel either so you should be able to manage fairly quickly. Also dont forget that you can do it as a two part job. First making a tunnel from the surface, then making the lab sphere and removing all traces of the tunnel at the same time. This way you wouldnt need to use shapeshifting to get where you want. It would allow you to use words and gestures to the max, adding +2 to casting, with a +3(better?) Aura and maybe +2 Stamina, accept that you take fatigue when casting it and suddenly you only need to raise that Muto a bit to be able to cast the spell. So the only problem then becomes learning a suitable spell.

Ooh, neat!

If you mean Warping of the Character, quite possibly, depending how the SG decides to define it. On one hand, it's clearly powerful, but otoh it's also largely just for color, so... meh. (As a SG, if the character wants to spend seasons in the lab just to have a cool lab, I'd do everything I could not to discourage them.)

If, however, you mean adding to the Lab's Warping Score, items don't add to Warping. Even as a "spell", if it's not mimicking a virtue, I don't think there's a reason to penalize the Lab. (What, "gravity" as a virtue?)

Safety does not counter Warping.

He would have a very safe, very random lab.

However, re large Area = unsafe, I've never understood why unused parts of a lab can't just be "sectioned off". A quick curtain wall - done. Tear it down - instance added area at some later date. (I suppose an argument could be made that the "new area" then is not properly incorporated into the lab - I could see that, requiring a season to rearrange stuff to make proper use of that new space, rather than just saying "Oh, and over there is my new Greater Focus wing.")

Fortunately, there's only 1 "visitor" with magic resistance, and they're fairly well known. And items can be created with extra Penetration.

A strong case could be made that putting the "label" inside the sancta is inadequate warning, so I don't think this lab can be labeled, and I'm not sure where that leaves him.

More, where does he sleep? Is that not part of his Sancta?

Where does he pretend his lab is? If he wants his Tormenting Parens to leave him alone, he better not be so obvious that he has a secret lab. (And especially not one with a long-forgotten mole-tunnel down to it - how classic a blunder is that?!)

Where? I can only find the exact opposite -"...Devices may also be tricky to use: if the magic requires a Finesse roll... covenfolk without specialty training in arcane Finesse will fail to put such devices to good use..." (p 50 col ii bottom)
Is there a diff section that suggests otherwise?

(I use a sim Houserule myself - I'd be interested to find that it doesn't need that HR label.)

Yeah, it's more a House Rule than anything. We went that way because it was too easy to have Magical Heating and Magical Lighting, to the point you can spont/ceremonial it.

I'm aware of this, though rereading my comment, the section about Safety was rather randomly inserted.

My current plans in regards to my Laboratory is to simply leave it alone and use my original lab until I've reached the adequate stats that makes it safe for regular use. Safety isn't going to be much of an issue at first, but Health is with the amount of Empty that I'll have to take.

Well, it isn't going to be a big problem, if he can't use the lab as his sanctum. I'd rather put a spell for scrying protection up, rather than one that makes anyone who tries to scry for his lab see the sanctum label. (my next idea for making the sanctum label clear enough)

I'm beginning to think that maybe I should set up a small house where I can live, with the laboratory in the “basement”, there will of course be an actual basement, probably with some basic tools so that I can work there until the underground lab is at the point where I can spend more than a single season down there without health issues. Likewise, I'd set up a scrying spell that'll ensure that I can teleport back into the house's basement when someone comes knocking. Label the house my Sanctum and have both where I sleep and where I “work” in the same place.