Okay, ArM5 page 103 lists the rules here: Having someone (with the Gift and Magic Theory 1+) helping you in the lab adds their Int+Magic theory. But this section also mentions how if the assistant has an appropriate Virtue like Inventive Genius it helps.
Inventive Genius is defined on ArM5 page 44 as "You receive +3 to Lab Totals..." The text does not say whether you must be generating this lab total as lead inventor or simply adding to it. But the wording under "help in the lab" specifically says it helps.
In this category of 'appropriate Virtues' I also include Puissant Magic Theory - this one is even easier to explain IMHO because it adds to MT and MT is added to the lead inventor's lab total.
How about a Focus? I've always assumes the lead inventor's focus was relevant but the assistants' weren't because their Arts aren't used.
But is it so? A Focus could be said to be an 'appropriate Virtue'. The wording for Major Focus on ArM5 page says "when you generate a lab total" - so as an assistant do you do this or are you just contributing to the lab total which the lead inventor is generating?
And if the assistant's Focus helps does it then add his own lowest Art or the lead inventor's? Or is this just a moot point because the assistant's Arts count for nothing so adding the lowest of nothing and nothing once more is still...nothing?
And what about Potent Magic? Since this adds a flat bonus to Lab Totals, this should add in for the assistant as well? Same kind of bonus as Inventive Genius or Puissant Magic Theory (except only under specific circumstances)
The ambiguous rules strike again.
The text suggests that Inventive Genius is applicable to the assistant's portion added to the lab total, but who decides it is applicable? Indeed, the wording of Inventive Genius says you add it to your lab total, and an assistant isn't generating a lab total, he's adding tot he primary's lab total. I would suggest that Inventive Genius is the exception (why it was mentioned) to virtues that affect lab total. Allowing a master whose apprentice has a focus to add his own lower art or the master's lower art to the lab total seems fraught with trouble.
I would treat this as a focus, and not allow it.
It does apply, but then it doesn't affect the lab total, either, so...
puissant magic theory adds to the apprentices effective magic theory, and thus aid indirectly. I would say inventive genius does contribute- in fact it specifically states in apprentices p. 54 that inventive genius does add.
I absolutely agree that these should apply. But with the somewhat vague definitions I was pushing the bounds to see what the community thinks.
It makes most sense for me to only have a Focus for the primary inventor apply. If nothing else then for a balance standpoint. Either way unless you stretch it the assistant's Arts are not in use so things affecting these don't apply, like Puissant Arts, so not a Focus either.
Potent Magic, IMHO, is less straightforward to exclude since it adds a flat bonus. And from a balance standpoint maybe it should apply in order to give it just a little more oomph to be a serious rival to the all too popular Focus.
Here's a question about Potent Magic - if an assistant's Potent Magic bonus applies to the Lab Total, would this allow the invented spell to be designed as Potent (with the casting item bonuses), or does the primary researcher have to possess the applicable Potent Magic virtue?
I don't think I'd be this lenient. The Potency with items bonus seems to be a special ability built into the spell. I'd prefer it if this could only be done by the primary inventor not an assistant. The +3 or +6 flat bonus however I see as similar to that for Inventive Genius and can easily accept this.
I was thinking, though, that the case of Faerie Correspondence ought to be symmetric with Potent Magic. The apprentice's FC does add to the MT he brings to the party, but that should have the usual consequence. So the apprentice who brings Potent Magic to the lab brings along all the bonuses, in the same way. That apprentice would be a very useful helper, if the master doesn't already have Potent Magic himself.
But since I lack both FC and PM, I'm not at all wedded to this. Thinking about it more, the primary magus has to be capable of inventing the spell in the lab, even if he might need help getting all the work done in a timely way. So the Potent Magic bonus would apply if it works even on non-potent spells, but the spell cannot be potent.
Though it makes for an interesting story seed, about a Bonisagus who takes apprentices who have different special virtues, so he can accumulate a vast lab total and an usual array of ancillary spell modifications.
I don't think any of these bonuses should apply, other than those which affect the assistant's Magic Theory and the specifically noted Inventive Genius virtue.
Why? Because the assistant isn't designing the spell. If he was, one would expect his Arts to affect the total somehow, such that an assistant with an Ig of 20 would help more than one with an Ig of 3. In my view, all the assistant is doing is helping out with calculations and operations, to the level his Magic Theory allows.
I tend to agree (which is fortunate, since I game with Tellus, so we won't have to argue about this).
Plus the reason I raised the original question is because the rules are quite vague about which Virtues (or Flaws?) from the assistant affects the primary inventor. What some may find to be rational and fair others may not.
I think it's a slippery slope to allow anything else that straight forward general boni like Puissant MT or Inventive Genius to affect the labwork. After all, what about Flawless Magic? If the assistant has this does the primary inventor automatically gain Mastery 1 in the spell? I don't think so, and it's about the same with Potent Magic. The bonus I may accept but not changing the effect - which is really what is done by adding Potency for casting items.
The only thing I have seen the books mention virtues and flaws from the apprentice affecting are lab totals and vis usage, so to me those should be the only things they can affect- no special effects unless it is the researcher who has the vrtue or flaw. However if both researcher and apprentice have the virtue or flaw I would ask (probably on a case by case basis) whether they can and should stack...
V&Fs do stack, as per Apprentices p.54 (Waster of Vis example).
And all V&F used in the examples are specifically mentioned to be examples, so one should not infer that they are the only applicable V&Fs.
In this sense, the helper's Magical Focus should affect the primary researcher's efforts, although the details are tricky to adjudicate. Reading strictly, it affects the primary researcher as if he had the focus (allowing the lowest applicable Art - which is the primary researcher's - to be added twice); and both because of the "one focus only" rule, and because the focus description states that the lowest applicable Art is added "twice" rather than "again", it does not stack with itself even if both researcher and assistant have it.
Flawless Magic? Uhm, even more tricky to adjudicate. Based on the Waster of Vis example, I'd be inclined to allow the primary researcher to automatically master the researched spell if the helper has Flawless Magic. But from the strict wording of the Virtue, if both primary researcher and helper have it, the spell is still mastered with a mastery score of 1 and no higher.
As for Faerie Sympathies, I believe one has the option but not the obligation to apply them to any task (Antipathies, however, always apply). In any case, note that they apply only to non-supernatural abilities, being used in lieu of the appropriate specialization, and adding botch dice. So it seems that if the helper has a Faerie Sympathy, he can add it to his Magic Theory score, but it does not also affect the primary researcher's efforts directly, in the same way that if the helper has Puissant Magic Theory it does not add +2 both to his score and to the primary researcher's.
Faerie Sympathy explicitly does apply to MT, which is not a supernatural ability.
It is also not up to the parens whether the apprentice applies it. So, if that 11 year old apprentice wants to be really helpful, and the parens has no idea (yet) that his apprentice has a faerie sympathy that applies to this particular lab total...
And of course, it only applies to the apprentice's score, even if the parens does know about it.