Experiment: side effect over side effect

Hi there,

One of my players created a device (a chest) to keep food inside fresh for ages. Since he experimented for this creation, a side effect appeared: the chest is glowing at all time (a side effect from the Magus' sigil).
Now, this magus rewrote the lab text so that other magi could use the lab text and create this devide too.
One magus did so and tried to develop this magic item again. So, my questions are:

  • can he use experimentation too?
  • does the original side effect (the glowing effect) is also present to the new item?
  • assuming the answers for both previous questions are "yes", what if this magus get another side effect? Is it possible to have 2 side effects on the same item?

Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

Not certain about questions 1 & 2 (we've allowed it, however), but as for 3, yes - you can have multiple sideeffects. You can have multiple sideeffects for several reasons - maybe as an result of rolling "roll twice more", and then rolling side-effect more than once, or just needing more than a single season to create an item...

The side effect is part of the spell that your magus created. it is part of the spell as written in hius lab notes and you cannot replicate it exactly without replicating the side effect as well. it is an integral part of the final spell thjat the magus created. If you weant to remove the glow, you will have to reinvent the spell from scratch, even if the lab text might give you a bonus to do it.

The magus that wants to learn the spell can use experiementation on top of that

Yes, the item will glow as well as stated above

Yes, he can have a second side effect.

Will the fridge with internal light that activates when you open the box start to have a freezer on an underside compartment? :laughing:


lol. I was thinking about something in this style: the food is like in "stasis" for few hours after it's taken from the chest, so it cannot be cooked immediately (actually, this side effect can be a good thing if my players are smart: they can transport food for few hours as if it was still in the chest).

Anyway, thank you for your explainations. :smiley:


When using a Lab text, don't you have do to precisely what the original creator did, even if it's your own lab text?

So if the original creator Experimented, the guy trying to re-create the item must also, right?
And I'd say the side effect from the original creation comes along naturally, along anything the experimentation might yield.

Also, such an item should be made as an invested device, not a lesser! I mean, in time you'd might want to add an ice-maker, autoamtic defroster, water filtration...but how to hook it up with water I don't know... :slight_smile:

Details might change - like the number of charges produced, or the time taken - but side-effects, modified effects and such would remain.

nope - an experiment would indicate that he tries to do something that he isn't certain what will cause - the first time you put a match to black powder it may be an experiment, the second time you'll know what happens.

The side effect is part of the effect at this point. This is kinda like the shadow remaining on the invisibility spells. It's part of the design now.

At work, so don't have ArM5 in front of me, but here's my two cents:

What you shouldn't be able to do, in the spirit of the game, is use a lab text of someone else to, without learning the original version, invent something of your own. You shouldn't be able to use someone else's lab text to create a spell of a magnitude greater or lesser than the original spell (like changing the range or duration), so you shouldn't be able to wipe out side effects without learning the original spell.

I don't think it says one way or another as to whether you can experiment when studying from lab texts. I can see how one might need to do that if they also had to decipher the lab text, but if written for distribution, I don't think it makes sense. Regardless, others might disagree.

Still, it would have to be

  1. learn version of item with flaw, whether or not you're experimenting
  2. invent new version of item, whether or not you're experimenting - you can either keep the side effect and hope for a countervailing "discovery" to eliminate it, or intentionally try to invent it without the side effect, which might add some extra complexity to the attempt.

You might also learn the flawed version, possibly experimenting yourself on top of it, then take advantage of the similar spell bonus (if it is big enough for you) to invent a clean one without need for experimenting. Takes longer, forces you to learn something that will quite likely be useless, but you might not really have much choice in some cases.

Ok, it makes sense:

Using a Lab text to invent a spell/invest a device means you ha an easier time, compared to the original inventor, as you're simply copying his work.
However, you must do excately and meticulously as he did. So you cannot change anything, regarding level, range, duration, target or effect. Same goes for charges per day and other modifications.
Although making charged devices has the number of charges as a variable, and this is still variable. The use of Lab Texts for this is in essence a way for the original creator to redo his work, getting more charges. For both charged and lesser devices, the fact that you need to make in in a single season (meaning lab total must be double total level), means the Lab Text is of no use to those who cannot. But for multi-seasonal activities - like inventing spells and invested devices - the Lab text is a good help in cutting down time spent of the project.

It makes sense that Experimentation may or may not be used as the magus chooses, regardless of whether the original creator of the lab text Experimented.
There seemed a concensus that Side Effects followed the Lab Text, affecting the power of the new creation also. But what about Limitations, Restrictions or Increased Effects? Should only a few of these variations from Experimentation be passed along creations from the Lab text? Only the bad, only the good?

I had a Maga invent a level 50 attack spell with experimentation over two seasons. She got increased effect in one season, increasing the Range from Voice to Sight, for free. Meaning this spell ought to have been level 55 with Sight Range. So, if anyone tried to duplicate this, from her Lab text, what would happen?

  1. Would they go for the lvl 50 Voice Range spell, and get it?
  2. Would they go for the lvl 50 Voice Range spell, but get it at range Sight, and still lvl 50? And in essence getting the Experimental bonus, with very little work or risk?
  3. Would they have to go for a lvl 55 Range Sight, because this is as it should be?
  4. Since spells above lvl 50 are rituals, and this original spell isn't (and would suck if it was!), would they instead invent a lvl 50 Range sight spell, at reduced power (meaning: less damage than the original spell?)
  5. Something else, whatever it might be?

For lesser devices you only need to equal the lab-total if you have a lab text.
For charged items, you never need more than equal to the level (higher labtotals only increases the number of charges). Lab texts here helps in that you don't need to subtract the item level before figuring out how many charges you get.

If I remember correctly, the example about the folio bonisagi gather each seven years contains some lab texts which beneficial features in them. Therefore both good and bad effects can be replicated via use of lab texts. However, like you, I don't think it is possible to use an experimented lab text as the basis for new experiment.

If you had my lab text about my marvelous Box of Wonders, you could only replicate the process, not change it. Otherwise the bonisagi would take Aegis, experiment upon it until one of them invents a beneficial effect or two on it. Use it as basis for new Aegis, experiment upon the new version and soon you would have an Aegis with dozens of beneficial effects on it and with no bad ones. Imo this kind of research requires a Breakthrough of some level.

I don't think RAW takes a side on that one. Therefore I have seen at least two kinds of interpretations about experimented spells and their levels in these forums.

1st version is, that if your effect is increased/decreased in power, so it the final version of the spell/effect you created.

2nd version is, that it your effect is increased/decreased in power, you either get bonus or penalty for inventing a non-standard hermetic spell/effect. I follow this school, because I like to give my players a bonus for experimentation. After all, benefits are rarer than flaws in Experimentation table.

Either version you choose to use, the lab text contains the version of the spell/effect the original experimentor invented and uses - imo.

The text on the Aegis states that this breakthrough of Notatus filius Bonisagus is not fully intergrated in hermetic theory. Therefor no parameters can be changed unless another breakthrough is archieved. Thus, I would not change any parameters of this spell when experimentation yields a beneficial effect. Instead such an effect my by slightly better against beast from one realm. Like +1 when considering fay powrs.

Stella umbra bani Tytalus wrote:

Hmmm, wouldn't this result in the same situation as the Bonisagi and experiment with the same lab text for Aegis with a benefit?
Suppose my maga distributed her Lab Text to other capable Flambeau. Normally, this spell would be impossible, since a spell of this power would be a level 55 (and thus, a ritual) with Sight/Mom/Ind. But recreating the spell after the Lab Text, would result in what? If all those Flambeau could get this done by normal means of inventing (without experimentation), it would simply be too easy!
Why aren't there better versions of more spells known to the Order as a whole then?
And if said Flambeau all rtied to remake the spell by Experimentation, one would be bound to add some other benefit at some point. So everyone would want that particular Lab text, as it would incorporate both the benefits. Precisely as the Bonisagi and Aegis.

I think the effects/modifications of experimentation are hard to define, regarding how they affect re-creation of same project after a Lab Text.
Suppose my experiment results in "totally changing the powers, within same Tech-Form combo". What would using the lab text result in? The originally intedted effect? Or the resulting effect?

Shouldn't the use of a lab text enable the magus, who is dissatisfied with hthe result of his experimentation, to invent it correctly in the second try? If all side effects appear again, in addition to any new results of experimentation, this is of no use to yourself.

How about this:

"All Lab Texts created in a Lab project using Experimentation include any side-effects, modifications or alternations - good or bad. So these variations may very well affect the new project. Anyone using said Lab Text in a project (even the creator of the text) needs [some die roll???] to avoid re-creating any unwanted effects (flaws, restrictions, limitations, reduced power, side effects, changes in effect) or [some other die roll] to include any beneficial effects (side benefits, increase in power etc.). This may be in addition to Experimentation done, so the actuakl outcome may vary widely."

I mention [some die roll???] and [some other die roll], perhaps some sort of Int+magic Theory vs. a set difficulty (or in relation to magnitude of the effect in question). So the very skilled magi, or those working with small effects, can avoid unwanted side effects or include benefits easier then the unskilled or those working with high level spells.
Otherwise you could require a roll on the Experimentation table, complete with Risk factor, where you must roll at least as high as where the result you're trying to change. So 8+ for Side Effect and 12+ for Modified Effect. Nominate which variations you're trying to include and which to exclude. Normally, there should be only one such. But some side efects might be somewhat neutral, and you need to define whether you want it or not, otherwise the roll is irelevant. This is addition to any Experimentation you might or might not want to do. Mind that the "try to include/exclude some effect" roll may very well Botch, and thus the Risk Factor is added here.

Alternatively, one could simply make a list of the various side/modified effects, and setting target number needed to in-/exclude.

Ultraviolet: So basicly, a skilled magus gets to choose what adjustments he wants to the effect? That indicates that the changes are fully understood, doesn't it?

My current view on this would be that you can't experiment on a labtext - you can only recreate the previous experiment (and then you allready know what will happen - remind me to provide my players with a labtext that ended with a disaster)
There would also be several lab-texts out there with side-benifits and increased effects. However, these would be considered very valuable - few would be willing to trade these away - or even allow non-members of their covenant to study them. (Try stealing some - story potential right there).

Let me show what happened to one dwarven blooded mage when he tried to experiment a "When Dwarves Fly" spell. It was a Rego Corporem spell of some level. The experiment resulted in "totally changed, within same tech+form+level result". The new spell and the lab text resulted in Rego Corporem effect which held the touched target in it's place for the Moon duration. The magus shrugged and decided: "I call this 'When Dwarves do Nothing' spell." Now if someone studies the lab text, he will learn When Dwarves do Nothing spell - ie: the resulting effect is in the lab text.