How to estimate Art and Ability scores for NPC magi by age

Dont recall exactly but i think its stated somewhere that those activities specifically must be "full season" while nothing(?) is said either way about other activities (ie essentially saying that they could be split up because the others required a special mention that THEY couldnt be split up).

There is something approximating monthly advancement, but not writing or other lab work, under "distractions" on AM 165. You can split a season of study into months.

I discourage this somewhat in my game by counting a fraction of a season as a full season when using up a tractatus or vis. I also round down.

Looks like it will be next weekend when I get my books back. But I am referring to ArM5, not something from before or something written by someone else. Until then I'll say what I can from memory...

There's a section that talks about free seasons. It mentions that most people don't have free seasons but that most persons effectively have one(?) free season normally, divided up through the year. It also says that magi have four genuinely (I believe the word "genuinely" is actually used.) free seasons. The first part is really the point, but the wording of the second adds meaning to the first. If someone is considered to have a free season by accumulation of time over the entire year, then the season is an abstraction of that amount of time as opposed to an actual season on the calendar. Lab activity, however, is timed to the heavens, and so must be done seasonally.

To add weight to this, on page 44 of City & Guild a full year of training and work for an apprentice is treated as a season of training, one of practice, and two of exposure.


Ah yes. P.163, first page of Long-Term Events chapter, Assigning Seasons.
And yeah i think you´re description of what it says is pretty accurate.

The assignment of seasons to activities is in some cases an abstraction
And onwards.
It specifically says that hermetic LAB work takes full ACTUAL seasons... I think this was the part i was thinking of in previous post.

Tho' that only refers to study, and Writing Books is not study. (Not at face value, at least. But nor is it clearly defined as anything else - see below.)

Mmm... yes and no. (sorry :unamused: )

That is only in direct reference to the Section it appears under, Experience and Advancement - specifically:"...A normal character must work for two seasons, and gets two seasons "free". However, he cannot leave his job for two seasons, as the free time is spread out over the year. Thus, he can only undertake study that he could do in and between his job. The two seasons spent working generate Exposure experience, as described below. Characters may have genuinely free seasons, but his is a matter of character background.

Hermetic labwork always takes an entire, actual season..."

(emphasis added)So, this passage refers directly and specifically to study, experience and advancement, not "writing books". What it's saying is not that "Seasons are explicitly fluid with the exception of laboratory work", but that a peasant who has "2 seasons of study a year" does not plant in the Spring, then run off to train for the Summer, then harvest in the Fall, and then curl up in front of the fire all Winter long with a good book (or whatever.) He works all 4 seasons as a peasant doing peasant stuff, but gets exposure from 2 seasons and has the time to squeeze in 2 seasons-worth of appropriate dedicated study.

Unfortunately, as I've already admitted, "Writing Books" appears to be listed under study, experience and advancement (unless it's an editing/formatting errour, which we cannot simply assume), and so while it's clearly not "Hermetic Labwork", nor is it specifically defined as anything else in the rules.

So, we're stuck with... nuthin'. Or nothing clear, at least.

(Actually, RAW, I'd have to admit that it's sandwiched between "Advancement" and "Learning Supernatural Abilities", and so certainly appears that it's presented as if* it was intended to be treated under the same rules as any other "Study", even tho', intuitively, it is not the same, and never uses any of the same terms other than "Seasons".)

(* In rhetoric, that's what's called "a qualifier".) :wink:

So, either approach would work, imo, as neither approach has clear, explicit backing or prohibition by the rules. Books take "seasons", but since they are not "Hermetic Labwork", they are not clearly limited. Nor are they clearly not limited. :unamused:

YSWV. :laughing:

Why? You didnt contradict anything i said... :unamused:
I just didnt bother to write the whole section...

And yet they felt the need to specifically state that labwork had to be full actual seasons, but not stating so for anything else.

Ie., as previously said its wide open for interpretation.
But the most likely interpretation BY RAW(from all i have read and by now reread), is that Callen is likely correct.
Adding a limitation for one type of work but not for any other, its very difficult not to assume that the limitation is specific only to the parts mentioned.

Using just plain common sense here, but I don't see why a text on mundane subject matter would be tied to a seasonal activity. A book on Arts or other magical subject matter, Maybe. A book on Bargaining or an Area Lore? Certainly not.

Some of us are indeed looking for life simulation in our rpg's :smiley:

Got my books back. Dead center ArM5 page 163:

It says a normal person has two free seasons but that "the free time is spread over the year." That person cannot actually take two seasons away from work but accumulates the seasons' worth of time in the hours outside of work through the year. It also states this person does two seasons of "work" spread over the year. It goes on to say "Hermetic lab work always takes an entire, actual season..."

The standard canon case for study and work is that a season can be accumulated over a year.

No. Read the section again. This section explicitly applies to "work" and to "study." It says the person does two seasons of work. Those seasons are also spread over the year. Yes, this is stated explicitly.

So, no, I don't need to do any hand-wavy thing about writing books being study. I don't need to rely on writing books being in the same section as advancement. You're doing work and happen to be gaining exposure experience while doing it. That is, in fact, the stated example. The exception to the rule is hermetic lab work.


PS: Page 93 of HoH:MC under "Transforming the Mind" also has an example of seasons spread out over the year, in this case specifically stated as allowed with study and adventure.