fast installed Lab's

According to the rules, a magus needs 2 Season to install his laboratory.
The first season to create a “universal” one (-3 for each user), the second season personalize it

Why this needs so long?
I am thinking about some spells, which speed the process up:

ReTe & He & An (Te for the glassware, metal, He for box, shelf, tables and An for Leather, candles)
Target: Room, Duration: Concentration, Range: Touch
Level 20 or 25?

This spell moves devices and equipment to the right position inside a room, which is designated to be the laboratory. To avoid errors in memory the magus has to roll a INT + Magic Theory of 12+ or the lab get the hidden flaw.
If enough material is available, the lab becomes a standard lab.
If the magus is distracted, needs a break or is unsure he can stop the spell and do the rest later again. Anyway, the Intelligence roll is necessary for the final stage.
This spell can be cast spontaneous or as a formulaic spell.

This should reduce the time effort to some hours.

ReTe & He & An
Target: Room, Duration: Diameter, Range: Touch
Level Level 25 or 30 ? (5 higher as before, since the magus don’t need his memory in the process)

Bonisagus described in his work “Magic Theory” in detail a standard laboratory – the room and all the needed equipment and how to put it in the room.

This spells sorts, in an appropriate room – according to Bonisagus – the devices and equipment, listed by Bonisagus.
Therefore, in the end of the spell it creates the Hermetic stand lab.

Since so many details must be remembered, to cast this spell spontaneous is nearly impossible – maybe if the magus has eidetic memory


ReTe & He & An
Target: Room, Duration: Diameter, Range: Touch
Level 25 or 30 ?

Installs a personal laboratory if the room and equipment is adequate according to your personal lab-design.
This spell works only for one magus alone

Spontaneous casting is normally not possible as above
To invest this spell the magus already needs a personal lab and invent this spell in this lab. So, he has to use 1 season to build it the first time. Since most magi don’t rebuild the lab (again in the same way), the spell isn’t invested much (probably only for mages who travels a lot like in a traveling covenant as Semitae)

Consider, that finding and getting appropriate and matching equipment for your 3 pounds of silver is also already part of the season to set up the simple -3 lab.

Installing a lab is not just about physically moving and arranging things, it is about establishing the mystical connectiong and aligning the energies.

Practically/physically it shoudl be that easy. But:

Because it is too easy to just use a spell or device. For me that ruins the mythical feel, that a magus' lab is special, that it has meaning that magi band together in covenants. And that would ruin some of the premise of this game for me. Lab work is a seasonal activity, and the magus needs to step back from the rush of dramatic stories. Traveling to distant lands, visiting other covenants on diplomatic business is a separate thing from lab work. If you could just carry it in your pocket, then no thanks.

Or maybe its a balance issue, which has been meta-explained by a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo? if magi don't "waste" seasons away from lab while adventuring and travelling, then they might learn too much too fast. And if you can easily move your lab to a plac with a high aura aligned with your current project, and finish it in a jiffy, before Winter sets in or the dragon returns...then that takes a lot of potential drama and stories away: The classic young magi's dliemma - do we build the covenant in the powerful but dangerous aura, or the lower aura but safe place?


Canonically it can be done with a single spell, though the canonical one makes the equipment for you to handle the issue OneShot brings up. Take a look at The Laboratory of Bonisagus (Cov. p.122).

Also, The Ambulatory Laboratory (same page) shows that Rego can manage it if the equipment is already at hand and arranged. If not already arranged, it wouldn't be quite as easy.

That is a strong explanation in a fledgling Spring covenant. However, setting up a new lab in an established Summer or Autumn covenant, one would expect the covenant to have the necessary trade connections. After all, lab equipment is largely expendable, and even durables are prone to accident, so what the new magus requires is probably supplied regularly to the covenant just for maintenance.

I agree with OP that a spell could reasonably make the lab, like any other craft magic. However, it takes a finesse roll, like -again- any other craft magic. And it is not going to be a mere 12+ to get it right. Since there is no craft skill in the regular case, the rules do not give us an ease factor here, but for all the reasons mentioned by others, it should be out of reach for most novice characters.

I see no reason why craft magic cannot make a lab, when the ambulatory lab can already move one. YSMV

It is not about just the trade connections, but about specifying and ordering the right things fitting into the space determined to be the lab, and setting them into place once they have been made. Even existing trade connections don't just sit tight and wait to be asked to deliver all these things: they might have other urgent things to do, given up on certain articles that last time were ordered ten years ago, lost contact to merchants once providing specific components, propose alternative solutions that do not fit with a wizard's lab, and so on. So getting it all delivered will still take a lot of effort and time - even if there were known trade connections.

A lab is not just another McDonalds getting the standard hearths, grills, tables, counters, tills and so on via the franchise central - unless you want it to be in your saga.

And even if you do have the trade connections, a lot of labratory equipment will be items that aren't stocked - they will have to be made from scratch when someone orders it.

I think the canon concept of a Standard Hermetic Lab comes pretty close to that McDonalds franchise.

Yes, I like the idea that the magus has to search for lab equipment to find the right bits and pieces, but if you make it as hard as you suggest, it would take more than the canon six months. Most covenants would need a week or more to travel to the closest port with any chance of finding what they need. Without extreme luck, they would take a season or two to tour the continent for the right bits and bobs. Canon clearly dictates that it is easier than that.

But, yes, even in my initial sketch, there should be a long lead time. If the covenant has the right contacts, they could place the order with little effort, but the merchant would have to acquire the goods from different corners of Europe, so it could easily take 2-3 years, without blocking the magus' time for more than a moment to cast the spell.

Spending several pounds per year on lab supplies and replacements, I find it unlikely that they do not have the right contact. It is not a once a decade type of contact we are talking about.

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I don't really believe in Covenants p.122 The Ambulatory Laboratory, when it states, how moving the lab works between different and even radically different shapes of lab. You can't even move a modern restaurant - kitchen, guest room and reception - that way.

That depends. Big tables for experimentation need to be set into the right place relative to sources of light and ventilation at least - and their shape will depend on their intended location. An athanor conditions the temperature and ventilation around itself, and thereby of most of the lab. And so on.

Yes, you can reduce such requirements, because "you just talk about a standard lab", and this comes from the stores for central provisioning of the Tribunal, ready to be moved into its new place by The Ambulatory Laboratory.

There is space for decision in a saga. There is however little need to just wave through such a way to provision labs.

In our rounds we first have to get the equipment. Than the setting takes the season. Otherwise we would just run in the discussion - i buy the stuff twice/thrice, we are an pld covennat so we have all, ..., so the next mages don't need that time anymore.

But of course this is an nice explanation, why its need so much time :slight_smile:

Just for interest: how you do traveling / flying covenant or on a ship then? Each stop they must align the lab anew?

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I think you can make do with some superglue (or ReTe rituals if you prefer), and always park your wagon facing East. Or whatever.

An advice for you Ononius, to facilitate feedback on spell templates - try to replicate the way it is setup in the book.

Tech Form Level


Calculation - e.g. (Base X, +2 Room, +1 Concentration, +1 touch)

For example, looking at your initial post, I can tell you were unable to finish the spells, but I can't tell why. Did you already identify ReTe as your primary form, and He/An as requisites, or were you wondering which should be the primary form and which should be requisites? I can also tell you were wondering what the final level of the spells should be - but I can't tell whether you had figured out which base guideline to use already, or if your question was whether those requisites would add an extra magnitude or whatnot. If you use that template, it becomes a lot easier to spot mistakes and to answer questions in regards to what you're missing to finalize your design.

Let me give you a real-world example. Our robotics lab includes two mills, a lathe, a CNC router, two drill presses, a vertical band saw, a horizontal band saw, a hydraulic press, a bench grinder, an arbor press, a chop saw, and lots of hand tools. A large portion of the stuff in the lab is expendables that go into actual building of robots, though. I can get a large portion of those expendables as well as replacement parts for the large stuff delivered in a day to a week. But to set up another lab like this those expendables and replacement parts are the simple part. I'd also have to have to wire the room appropriately, install a compressed air system, get and install all those big tools, etc. That I have all the necessary trade connections for what I regularly need would help me little since most the effort would go towards the wiring, the compressed air, and all the large equipment.

  1. I am not sure what the Hermetic equivalent to wiring and compressed air systems would be, nor why that could not be done by a grog.
  2. OP concerned the use of craft magic. There is no reason why the wiring and compressed air system could not be installed by craft magic given that the raw materials are available.

As someone noted above, there's a Rego Terram spell in Covenants that allows one to do that. It's a ReTe45 ritual spell.

That said, I can see some Magi using a He equivalent.

I'm not sure why you're saying this. The compressed air system and wiring could be done by workers with sufficient understanding other than the scientists/engineers working there. Similarly, the Hermetic lab could be set up by a grog so long as the grog has sufficient understanding. So I really don't understand why you're wondering why something like this couldn't be done by a grog.

And considering that canonical craft magic can put together a lab, where is the problem in the analogy?

Do they need sufficient understanding about the topic of the lab (Magic Theory/Robotics) or do they just need the understanding if the appropriate crafts (Construction/Mechanics).

This is a question which regularly comes up. How much of the one-season work requires Magic Theory and how much can be hired craftsmen.

You did not say what you wanted the analogy to say, so I got the agreement that you posted it as a counter-argument. Now, that is cleared up. Thanks.

That is a good question. I have honestly never thought about it, because it has never come up for us. I know there are canon examples of this, which I may even have playtested. In ways this invalidates all my arguments, actually. Because a sailing or flying covenant in my world view adds drama and story potential, it would be counter productive to prohibit it.

Since I still don't like the insta-Labs, I might straw-clutchingly explain, that the labs of sailing or flying covenants or the like are still installed in a static way in a room, and the installation takes this into account. These labs require a lot of effort, mnore than just wandering into a nice aura and creating a lab with a snap of the fingers. Were I ever to run a saga with mobile labs, I might still require an "attunement period" for the lab to align with the local mystical energies. Less than a season but perhaps as much as a month (some explanation about lunar cycles), and I'd handwave excately when seasons start, so the magus moving several times can lump up all the months of attunement and just waste one season per year by moving three times.

I know my arguments have more holes than a swiss cheese, but I'd really not fond of the insta-Labs. IMHO that makes labs irelevant in in-game terms, you could as easily just rule that a magus doesn't need a lab to invent spells etc, it's just reduced to something you want for the mechanical bonus.

They need to understand how the systems work (wiring, pneumatics, Magic Theory), but they don't need to be able to do the thing the lab is used for (physics, robotics, Arts).

Well, canonically you can much of it with just a lab in your mind. So the game does lean somewhat in that direction, requiring at least a mental simulation of a lab but not actually a physical lab.