House Rules-Discussion

Ok, here's an example. We can tweak it until we all agree on how Original Research works.

Discovery Phase
A magus is performing Original Research and decides to invent a spell, seeking a discovery. He has a Magic Theory of 6 and a Lab Total of 25. He tries to develop a level 15 spell.

As per the experimentation rules, he gets to add a simple die to his Lab Total, but the Risk Modifier has no effect on it because he is seeking a discovery. He selects a Risk Modifier of +2. Since his Magic Theory is 6, he will also be able to adjust to result by 2 to determine if he also achieved a discovery. So his Lab Total is 34 (25+Simple Die of 9), so he can invent the spell in a single season unles he gets the "No benefits" result.

Now he must roll on the Extraordinary Results Chart. His stress die is modified by his +2 Risk Modifier. A roll of 0 will mean he needs to roll 3 botch dice (1 as a base, +2 for the Risk Modifier).
The die roll will produce the following results:
[table][tr][td]Die roll[/td][td]Modified by Risk[/td][td]Result[/td][td]Discovery adjustment[/td][td]Discovery[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Botch[/td][td]Botch[/td][td]Disaster[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]0-2[/td][td]2-4[/td][td]No extraordinary result[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]3-4[/td][td]5-6[/td][td]Side effect[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5[/td][td]7[/td][td]No benefit (Lab Total would reduced to 25, so a second season would be needed)[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]Not this season, check again on second season[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6[/td][td]8[/td][td]Complete failure, no discovery[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7[/td][td]9[/td][td]Special or story event[/td][td]+1[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]9[/td][td]11[/td][td]Modified effect[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10[/td][td]12[/td][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]-2[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11+[/td][td]13+[/td]][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]-2 does not reduce enough[/td][td]No, but additional rolls may yield a discovery or complete failure[/td][/tr][/table]
Now, let's say the player rolls a 9 on his die. This is modified to 11 by the Risk Modifier, for a result of "Modified Effect". The spell is invented. This also yields a discovery, as a -1 gives a Discovery.

Stabilization Phase
Now he must spend another season to stabilize his discovery. He must roll on the Extraordinary Results Chart again, adding the same Risk Modifier as before, but this time he can only modify his roll by -1 to determine if the discovery is stabilized (the same modifier used to determine if a discovery was reached).

The die roll will produce the following results:
[table][tr][td]Die roll[/td][td]Modified by Risk[/td][td]Stabilization adjustment[/td][td]Result[/td][td]Stabilization[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Botch[/td][td]Botch[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]Disaster[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]0-3[/td][td]2-5[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No extraordinary result[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]4[/td][td]6[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No extraordinary result / Side Effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5[/td][td]7[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Side Effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6[/td][td]8[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No benefit[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7[/td][td]9[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Complete failure[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]8[/td][td]10[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Special or story event[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10[/td][td]12[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Modified effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11+[/td][td]13+[/td]][td]-1[/td][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]Depends on additional rolls (2 chances of failure)[/td][/tr][/table]
Now, let's say the magus rolls a 6. The magus fails to stabilize the discovery this season, but can try again next season. He rolls a 2 on the simple die for Warping Points, so gains 1 point (magnitude 3 - simple die).

The next season he tries again. This time he rolls a 5 and succeeds. He rolls a 6 for Warping Points, and doesn't gain any more points. He just accumulated 3 Original Research points toward his breakthrough.

Under the normal rules for experimentation you can choose to go for exceptional risk, +1 to +3 added to the simple die. This is standard experimentation. Moving into Original research, one can modify that result slightly and get a supplementary result, too. It would make some sense that you could add or subtract the risk modifier up to the cap based on MT to get a supplemental result. So, let's say you roll an 8 and it get modified to an 11 under the standard rules, for OR purposes, you move it down 1 notch for a discovery. Then, to stabilize that discovery you can only modify subsequent rolls by -1. So next season you work to stabilize the discovery, you roll a 5, adding +3 brings you to 8, and since you subtracted 1 to get the supplemental discovery you have to subtract here which brings it to a 7, no benefit. It was a false discovery that provided no useful clues on the research. That's how I'm reading the errata in the context of page 28. This also plays out with the narrative description of Aurulentus's research process. There were some lines of research that bore no fruit and he had to move on.

I think we're in agreement, except for this...

Since one can always use a risk modifier of +1 to +3 in experimentation, that shouldn't be capped, what should be capped is how much that final result can be modified, and during the stabilization process it modifies any subsequent rolls the same way.

It's one of those that can be interpreted in different ways. I initially wrote it this way, so I don't have a problem with it. I'll edit the example to reflect this.

EDIT: Note that using a higher Risk Modifier does not by itself increase the chances of making a discovery, while it increases the chances of a botch.

Are we going to use the Workshop rules from City & Guild for the saga? I've taken a look at them and they seem to make sense.

If we do, I should probably align the text of the Mythic Cooperage virtue to use Workshop Total instead of a Craft Total. Note that the use of the WT makes things a little easier, since you get bonuses for assistants (half of the Craft score), workshop innovation (up to +3), and raw materials (up to +3).

Some discussion of spell mastery. It has problems, especially multiple casting when in combat and especially with might strippers.
See me proposal below and also consider the need for some additional mastery abilities.

This is more of a rubric than a hard and fast rule system for managing finesse....

So, I've been going through the motions of trying to apply finesse and Rego Craft magic. In part because of what's going on with Viscaria and in part of the character of Praxiteles... I'm going to propose the same thing over in Via Experimenta, but here, I have a bit more...discretion.

I'm imagining sculpting is a bit like fine woodworking. It takes some amount of artistic talent to see a coffee table in a pile of lumber. Which pieces are the legs, which pieces are the table top. Whereas woodworking is assembling multiple pieces into one form, sculpting is pulling the form from a single piece. So, I am putting my experience with woodworking to use and trying to apply it to the overall artistic process, which also affects Rego Craft magic.

So, continuing with the coffee table piece above, the first thing I do is select pieces which will come together and form an aesthetically pleasing table top. There may be times where I have a piece of wood that is large enough to serve as the table top, but this is rare, and also problematic due to the internal stresses in the wood being released over time causing the top to warp, cup and/or twist. So sometimes I'll select a piece that is half the size, especially one that has nice figured in the wood grain and rip it on a bandsaw dividing the thickness of the board in two, and creating a beautiful bookmatched pattern. I'll then bring the pieces down to close to final thickness, but not all the way, and let them rest and acclimate to their new shape while I work on the rest of the table, legs, and what not. All the while, I'm paying attention and selecting pieces that fit the final shape I want. I think it is reasonable that an artist approaches the task and breaks it into sub tasks. I think it is also equally reasonable that a Rego Crafter can break it into subtasks, to bring the difficulty down. The trick is identifying those tasks, and then designing spells to accomplish them. All along the way the crafter must have a good idea of what the end product looks like, and it forms his guide, but he's still breaking down the project into tasks which can be accomplished. This process is the same whether doing it with a mundane skill or using Arts to mimic the skill.

So, we have the first task in sculpting, Roughing the Form. It breaks away all the unnecessary pieces of stone from the base rock. Then the next step, is Release the Hidden Form which is T:Part, because it focuses on the shapes of the major subassemblies (extremeties and torso, but not the points where they intersect). For a statue of a man, it will do the arms, but not the fine details of the hands/fingers, or how it attaches to the torso, same applies to the legs and feet. Reveal the Stone’s Motion this spell carefully sculpts all the intersecting joints, finalizing the sculpture to the point where it can be polished. Like Release the Hidden Form it must be cast repeatedly on the points where the subassemblies connect to the body of the piece. Realize the Resplendent Form polishes the sculpture to the final shine/desired patina.

I’m not altogether happy with what’s above, but what I do like is that it breaks it down in to manageable pieces, and allows a magus to do what an artist can do, which is the point of magic. And it allows it to happen in much the same process. So, then I think about failure… Consider that someone fails at Release the Hidden Form on one of the arms, the finesse roll is just shy of success, that just bumps up the difficulty at the next level, Reveal the Stone’s Motion. I’m also inclined to treat all finesse rolls as not stressed, unless it is fixing a mistake from the previous spell. This does two things, it makes sure that the final result is within the finesse capabilities of the caster, which still needs to be rather high, but it allows a caster to come up with a process to break the project down into manageable pieces.

So, that leads to the next problem, how do we keep the element of failure? Failure is just as important in art as it is anywhere else. A failure of a finesse roll should always be a possibility, for it makes the next step harder, and it yields the chance for an outstanding success, the arm of a statue is misplaced relative to the body, for example, but at Reveal the Stone’s Motion, an outstanding success occurs which makes the statue appear more alive. Perhaps the human statue is in mid run, or swinging a sword, and a metal sword could be added to enhance the effect. Something is revealed that wasn’t possible before. So, at high levels of finesse, Release the Hidden Form begins to do more work, perhaps a bit more work than it should. At low levels of finesse, the sculptor might need to work on the fingers individually, then the hand, and then the arm. At high levels of finesse, the sculptor does the entire arm. The caster can’t dictate the level of control he has over the piece to assure success. Due to the nature of the spell, it always attempts to reach the ideal of the Realm of Forms in as few steps as possible. It is possible for masters in the ability of Finesse to skip Reveal the Stone’s Motion. These masters of Finesse approach the Realm of Forms ideals in their artwork.

This example focuses on stone, but similar spells can be applied to other materials. Further, the limits of what can be done in a day need to be...controlled. I dislike the idea of a Rego Crafter to do in a day what an artist could do in a year or three. I do not want to see a magus making a copy of David every day. So, these spells don't work if they do more than a month's worth of work, unless it is the only spell cast that day. Further, if it does many months of work, it requires the magus to rest and meditate and reconnect to the piece of Art he is working on. So if an magus-artist completed a year's worth of work in one day, he would have to wait 12 days before he could begin work on the piece again, contemplating the piece and spending time with it. Note, this will, in many instances do serious damage to his lab work/study schedule if it is an especially large piece of art he is creating.

I makes a lot of sense and feels much more realistic than the current Rego Craft magic.

Since these spells replicate the process of the art/craft, only making it faster, why not make them Conc instead of Mom? This would reflect well the fact that the caster is concentrating on achieving the partial results he is visualizing, and controlling the process as it occurs. The higher the speed multiplier provided by the spell, the more difficult it is to control. For example, a basic spell might allow you to perform an hour's work in a Diameter (x30). You can keep concentrating to make more and more work with the single casting, but this requires Concentration rolls to avoid exhausting yourself and/or making mistakes. A different spell might allow you to work faster (for example a day's work in a Diameter, so a multiplier of x240), so less chance of exhaustion but with a higher risk of mistakes. This could all be represented by different Base levels.

This might be seen by Praxiteles as the development of a whole new branch of Rego Craft magic, which would be more suitable to true artists (as opposed to "lazy" magi who only want normal results).

Interesting...and it gives him something to research, like everyone else...

I'll be honest, this has been the single biggest stumbling block for me...and I'm hoping that getting past this will release the floodgates of creativity allowing me to move forward with respect to this character/saga.

Moving the discussion here, from the Covenant thread...

My understanding of RAW is that Petronius would be able to manage a Bonisagus team of up to 2 (plus familiar). If some of the assistants are not from House Bonisagus (or Bonisagus apprentices), then this would fall to 1 (plus familiar). Under my understanding of RAW, the leader of a lab project gains no benefit for being a Bonisagus if any of his assistant is a non-Bonisagus -- that assistant has not been trained to work in such a large team, so he requires more supervision. His Leadership score isn't high enough to allow a higher limit.

With your House-rule of Puissant Leadership when managing a team, Petronius could manage up to 3 (plus familiar) assistants, being capped at Leadership score of 1 and +2 for Puissant Leadership. Does it matter who the assistants are?

Wouldn't it be simpler to say that Leadership adds to the number of assistants a magus can manage? All magi start at 1 assistant. Bonisagi get one more if all are from House Bonisagus.

I can see how you get to the idea that Bonisagus magi can only take advantage of lab assistants if they are from the same House, but I think that goes a bit too tight on the special ability. The example doesn't state they can have two Bonisagus trained laboratory assistants besides their familiar. It says they can have two besides, their familiar.
I may be prejudiced, but I think that Bonisagus can always make use of two assistants, despite their House affiliation, I think Bonisagus, himself, worked well with multiple assistants, but I can't find anything canonical about that now.
I can also envision a scenario where a magus has three apprentices (fosterage or whatever) and he designates one of them to take the lead (a Bonisagus apprentice) who can then direct the other two in the lab project as his assistants. That's where I think the rule was going. Rather than saying that it applies only when they are all of the same House, which makes little sense for familiars.

Oh, and I think that allowing a Bonisagus to manage multiple assistants, despite the House affiliation is thematic to the saga. Covenant engaged in research....

The underlined text, to me, seemed to imply that only assistants from House Bonisagus (be they magi Bonisagi, apprentices under Bonisagi, or familiar of magi Bonisagi). The sentence doesn't make much sense otherwise.

But I don't have a problem not being restrictive about it.

As for the thematic of the covenant, well research does not mean group research. We each will have very different areas of interest, so I don't think we'll work together that often. It makes sense for longevity rituals, perhaps for making enchanted items, possibly for familiars. But not as much for spell invention or original research, IMHO.

Anyway, saying that Bonisagi have the equivalent of Puissant Leadership when managing a lab team is ok. It raises the cap for the number of assistants.

That's true, and like I said I see your point. I would also tend to agree with your point, but there has been a tendency for vague things like this to be written which later get clarified. Muto Vim errata, wards penetrating to name a couple of examples.If you write the rule one way, then the example should be illustrative of the rule. The example doesn't make any mention of House affiliation. I prefer to say that the Bonisagus magus retains the ability to coordinate multiple assistants in the lab. Some apprentices might have this ability (see below, but say after 10 or 20 seasons of working with the Bonisagus, depending on when they realize the Puissant Magic Theory virtue).
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what happens to a Bonisagus magus who has an apprentice and takes on another apprentice? Does his ability to be helpful in the lab happen immediately upon the Arts opening? Doesn't that seem a little off somehow? Especially in light of how the House virtues (and this is another House virtue, albeit more limited than Puissant Magic Theory) shouldn't it take 10 seasons to be realized?

Very true...but say we want to invent a spell to realize a research goal, and we want to do it in a season, and another assistant will put us into that position... Will we, as a group lend ourselves to our sodales to foster research in this fashion? I dunno, maybe we won't. It's true that our research is different, but we all have enough knowledge of Magic Theory to be of use to each other in certain (limited) instances.

I'm not trying to be argumentative either, just clarifying our mutual understanding of the rules. :slight_smile:

I'd say that the new apprentice needs to be "broken in" a little before he can be integrated into a larger team. That may mean as little as a few seasons of working either alone with his master, or in a smaller team (if the master's Leadership score is high enough). Basically, for his first season in the lab, he gets treated as a non-Bonisagus.

But that's purely theorical. As I wrote, let's not restrict this for the saga. So long as we agree on how it works for us, it's all the same to me. :laughing:

That, we will only see once the "saga" gets underway. I expect coordinating such cooperation will be difficult.

I am fine with HRing that Bonisagi have Puissant Leadership in the Lab, regardless of the house affiliation of the assistants. But, as you say, cooperating may be difficult, especially as our interests start taking more and more of our time. Do we want to count acting as a Lab Assistant as part of the service to the covenant, or shall there be reimbursement? Maybe that's a discussion for our first council meeting ...

We can do that, or they can have discussed this at some point during the years before saga starts.

Might be an appropriate topic of discussion for the current in-character thread... :wink:

Repairing/Restoring damaged book.

As we have many such books in the library, would there be a way to restore or repair such books to increase their Quality?

According to Covenants (pp.87-88), the Quality of summae can be decomposed as follow:

  • The author: Com + 3 (+ bonus for writing to level less than half score)
  • Skilled scribe: +1
  • Skilled binder: +1
  • Skilled illuminator: +1
  • Mystical resonance: +0 to +3

Under "Damaged books", it is mentioned that many sorts of damage can be repaired by a skilled binder and scribe. And that "The statistical adjustments for damage vary enormously."

So, might it be worth our while to restore some of the damaged books we have? If so, what would it require?

Depending of the type of damage, this could mean:

  • Mundane work from a scribe, binder and/or illuminator (and probably some money if a complete rescribing of the book is required)
  • Involvement from a magus (does he need a score in the relevant Art?)


EDIT: I only mentioned Quality, but in some cases the damage may be missing parts of the book, lowering the Level instead/also. I assume that kind of damage cannot be undone.

New Mastery abilities?
Given that we're following this format for spell mastery? ((Are we, I thought I mentioned this already, and had approval, but seem to be blind for finding this, so consider this a request, if it hasn't been made already, and if it has, point me to where we're in agreement!))
So...I've been thinking about mastery, and that there should be some limit to integrating all these mastery abilities that magi can develop over time. Truthfully, the barrier to Quick Casting +4, Multiple Casting +4, Obfuscated Casting is much lower than it was before. It still takes a lot of XP, but it is much less than before...(except Multiple casting as per RAW, but that's a huge problem, IMO).

Synthesized Casting
Combines the various mastery abilities into one spell casting. Ordinarily, mastery abilities require a specific method of casting the spell, to take advantage of multiple mastery abilities on the same spell, such as Still and Quiet x2, need to have Synthesized casting of 1. Under RAW Still +Quiet x2 costs 30 xp. Under this modification, Synthesized 5, Still 5, Quiet 15=25, so it is a net benefit.

Ritual Casting
Designed to minimize the risks of a botch of a ritual. This adds half of the ability score to the reduction in botch dice, always at least 1 less botch die.

Mercurian (assisted) Casting
A Mercurian, if he wishes to teach it, can teach techniques for mastery that mimic his methods and use less vis. This doesn't allow a magus to cast a ritual on his own, with less vis, it merely allows the Mercurian to treat anyone with this mastery ability as Mercurian. ((This one needs to be fleshed out, and it's partially based on Paul Briscoe's De Domo Tremeris, but that mastery ability worked for anyone and was a huge end-run around Mercurian Magi))

I would suggest simpy calling this Safe Casting, and not apply it only to rituals. And say that other masteries do not provide a reduction to the number of botch dice.

How does this translate when people are joining in Ritual Communion? I think we'd already ruled that if a Mercurian leads, then it would preserve the vis saving. Does that change anything? Or is this simply for non-Mercurian leading the ritual, or casting with no Mercurian at all?

We will probably need to build a complete list of masteries on the wiki, with their effects as stand-alone masteries. I'll look at it tomorrow.

EDIT: I would suggest that the last cannot be taught by non-Mercurians, even if they have a spell mastered this way. That would reduce the threat to Mercurians.