How many items can I make?

Experimentation is for madmen and thrillseekers

  • Yes, so I never use it
  • Yes, but sometimes you just have to
  • Nah, just increase your labs safety
  • I just like the added tension and roleplay opportunity (so, yes, basically

0 voters

I would like to know how I can use lab texts in item creation, or more specifically: when can I start using them?

For the explanation I shall use a lvl. 10 ReAq wand (enchanted device) as example.
My ReAq lab total (LT) = 40

To be able to create an enchanted device, it has to be finished in a single season, requiring an LT of 20, for my lvl 10 wand. Since my LT is 40, I can make another lvl 10 ReAq item in the same season, right?

Say I already have a labtext of this particular wand. I can then make 4 of these lvl 10 wands with my LT of 40. (using 4 Vis in the process) Still following rules?

Now I would like to combine this. When creating said wand, I still have 20 points of lab total remaining. I also have a lab text of that wand. Can I use that lab text, in the same season, to make 2 more of these items?
Lab total 40
20 goes to inventing and making lvl 10 wand
10 goes to making that wand from lab text
10 goes to making that wand from lab text
-> I get 3 copies of that wand

Are these assumptions correct?
It would help for a lot of low-level items.

Now one more, in a slightly different category:
When I make an expiring item, my overflow is increased. (let's say doubled, for 70 year expiry)
Now I would like to make 6 wands:
Lab total 40
10 + 5 goes to inventing and making
5 x 5 goes to making 5 more?
And the bonus question: can I make an items with expiry from a lab text that was made for the same item without expiry (or the other way around for that matter)?

the inventing/making of the 1st one takes the entire season, no matter your excess lab total. You would then use the lab text in another season.

I voted "yes but sometimes you have to" however since the appearance of the "working overtime" rules. Unusual schedules have been used more frequently in my games than experimentation as they allow additional progress with less risk of a wasted season.

Adding to a lab's safety will only save you from botches. It won't help you with side effects (5-6), complete failure (8), special or story event (9), or modified effect (11). You've still got a 40% chance of getting something that you weren't looking for.

Botches are the biggest fear of experimentation IMO. Eliminate those and even the unusual side effect results arent too harsh in the grand scheme of magic.

I do not share this opinion. My characters have run afoul the dangers of detrimental side effects, modified effects, and complete failure quite often. A wasted season is much, much more common than a disaster (which has never actually occurecd from experimentation in one of my games). Even if the results are less damaging, the vastly larger probibility of a wasted season makes it my largest concern when I consider the option of experimentation for a character.

This is also the reason why I've never had a character experiment two or more seasons in a row on the same project.

there is a 10% chance of a deleterious side effect (20% chance of a side effect half of the time the side effect is deleterious),
10% chance of complete failure,
good chance of botching if you don't have an especially safe lab or cautious sorcerer let's say ~2%,
a good chance of any special or story event messing you up (let's say half of the time it pops up or 5%),
a good chance that a modified effect will make the spell unusable for its original purpose lets say seven out of ten times that the result pops up so 7% of all experimentation results.

So each season the chance for getting what you actually want is

So if you experiment for two seasons on a project the chance drops to 66%* 66% = 43.5% less than half of the time

Three seasons is 28.7%

Four seasons 19%

If you can use experimentation to complete the work in a season, then it is probably worth it - espesially when you can use original research (+/- up to 2-3 helps on the effect table...)

But botches do hurt, a lot... Had one botch that stripped off our Aegis - leading to a major demon attack... Lost allmost all our grogs...:frowning:

Erik, I didn't suggest that deleterious side effects weren't wholly undesirable, but compared to life/covenant threatening botches, I'll accept a mere wasted season any day. The rewards of discovery, however, can certainly make up for a lost season.

I didn't mean to imply that you were wrong. I just wanted to include a different view of priorities in the discussion. A 2 or 3% chance of a disasterous botch is more acceptable to me on a personal level than a 40% chance of a wasted season. I never meant to imply that there was anything amiss with feeling that the botch was the biggger worry.

Um, to be clear, multiple items can be invented in a season (if of the same TeFo & etc.), but none of the items, nor the lab text, will exist until the end of that season.

Ummm... no, you don't. To both.

How does it work? Just fine, thanks for asking. :wink:

The easiest way to think about these things is to accept that Hermetic Magic is directly tied to the Seasons, and is therefore governed by them. Certain aspects of labwork must be started and finished within the Solstices/Equinoxes, as those are hard magical cutpoints. Missing it, even by "just a little", moves the process into the next Season, and that means the entirety of the next Season. Even 1 Level takes the whole season- maybe the mage can skip out and take a huge penalty to their Lab Total, but the project isn't completed until season's end. It's "magic"- it doesn't have to conform to mundane expectations.

So, given a Lab Total twice necessary and two equal sized projects, a mage doesn't "finish" one project half way through and then start on the second- it takes the entire season to finish both. And the lab text isn't completed and useful until the project is completed. It's full o' mystery n' stuff like that.

(IMS I allow a "mass production" rule, that gives a small bonus to multiple identical items produced simultaneously. That just makes sense to me, and is kind to those creating small magical utility gizmos, even if I am ignoring my own advice and letting mundane rationale rein the magical world. ymmv)

This is pretty clear in the rules, p 102, column I. "...No features of a spell or enchanted item can be changed..."
Pretty clear cut - another "No", sorry. :cry:

That's only if you aren't using the bonus to Lab Total that's possible from experimentation. Iirc, if you are counting on that to finish the project, the odds go closer to 1/3 something bad, 1/3 something good, 1/3 lose the bonus- and it moves into a second season, and a second experimentation roll!

Risk bonuses bonuses take away the "no extraordinary results" choices at the bottom of the chart and give you the "roll twice" (kiss of death) results at the top of the chart.

Great replies to the lab work questions. I conclude that the logic (and RAW) of the game allows me to make multiple items (same TeFo) in a single season, but I only get the lab text at the end.

Let me combine this with an idea from puissant or affinity topic, where it is suggested that you can read a book for half the season. I don't have a rulebook present, but I believe it yields 1/3 of the normal xp when you are distracted for half the season.

Let's continue my lab total 40, lvl. 10 wand example. I only need a lab total of 20 to pull this of. Can I read a book, gaining 4 (out of the normal 12 xp) and make the wand at the same time? (reading my book, while enjoying the bubbling bottles and lovely laboratory scent :stuck_out_tongue:)
If so, how does the exposure work into this? (only the highest = 4 xp? (4+2=6) xp? (12+2)/3 xp?)

BTW: I also like the comments on the experimentation poll :wink:

I would say no. One either does lab work (spell creation, item enchantment, vis extraction, etc.) or one studies. Each takes a complete season. Besides study is NOT considered a lab activity even if some do study books in their labs.

In order to create such partial seasons, consider the activities to be distractions from each other.

You need to study for at least 1 month in order to get any study xp.
IIRC, 1 month of distraction will ruin your work...

It's on page 103, top of column iii -"...If you miss more than 20 days (from Lab Work), you cannot perform a laboratory activity at all, as you lose your synchronization with the cycles of the heavens." So, take 3 weeks, take the season, the project is scratched.

Mr. Burns: "If you don't show up Friday, don't bother showing up Monday."
Homer S.: "Woohoo! 4 day weekend!")

It's a bit odd- a little chart on page 165 indicates that if you lose 1 month you only get 2/3 the study total (or writing total, if writing a text), 2 months yields 1/3, and 3 yields 0.

Now, this would imply that if you lose 6 weeks you only get 1/2 the total, except that the last sentence clearly states: "Round any fractions up" That means that if you study 1 day, it's rounded up to 1/3 month???!!! I'd think it would be the other way, or, better, just put on the ol' math hat and use smaller fractions. I'd let a half-season work, maybe(?) even 2 weeks (1/6), but there has to be some lower limit to how little study you can devote and still come away with a permanent and widely-applicable Ability increase, as opposed to just short-term information. A month of dedicated study and you can actually "learn" something- a week, and it's just memorization. In between is up to the Troupe...

So, depending how narrowly you want to divide a season, if you can lose a max of 20 days from a project, that'd become 2 weeks of "distraction" from a lab total, or 2/12 or 1/6 of the season. RAW, that's -2/3 of the Study Total :stuck_out_tongue: , or more accurately -5/6. (At which point the average mage probably could claim exposure and do just as well?)

Just thought I'd post this since I'd been looking at it recently.

Values are expressed as probabilities, not percentages. Also I didn't account AT ALL for Botches, since that would depend on the Aura you were in, etc. These results assume no Botch at all, so if you wanted completely accurate results you'd figure out the odds of Botching:

Botching = (0.1 * (1 - (0.9 ^ # of Botch dice)))

...and not Botching:

not Botching = 1 - Botching

Then, multiply the results by the (not Botching) value.

Risk Modifier +0
No extraordinary effects 0.435706695
Side effect 0.223166844
No benefit 0.106269926
Complete failure 0.117959617
Special or story event 0.106269926
Discovery 0.010626993
Modified effect 0

Risk Modifier +1
No extraordinary effects 0.318809777
Side effect 0.223166844
No benefit 0.116896918
Complete failure 0.106269926
Special or story event 0.117959617
Discovery 0.106269926
Modified effect 0.010626993

Risk Modifier +2
No extraordinary effects 0.214822771
Side effect 0.22556391
No benefit 0.107411386
Complete failure 0.118152524
Special or story event 0.107411386
Discovery 0.119226638
Modified effect 0.107411386

Risk Modifier +3
No extraordinary effects 0.120336943
Side effect 0.240673886
No benefit 0.132370637
Complete failure 0.120336943
Special or story event 0.132370637
Discovery 0.120336943
Modified effect 0.133574007

In more general terms, it seems that the ideal Risk modifier is anything but +0. The higher Risks increase the chance of a negative result but also increase the chance of a Discovery while roughly maintaining the ratio between the two.