The first event will be as follows. At the end of sixteen years the characters will be judged by how well appointed their laboratories are, not just in terms of raw bonuses and luxury but also in terms of how clever and interesting their improvements and enchantments in their laboratory are.
There are the following complications
Within the first five years every character must through spells enchantments or sheer cleverness acquire a source of additional income. Characters will be judged on the style and productivity of their endeavor.
Within the first ten years every member of the covenant is obligated to present the turb with an enchanted device to assist in the defense of the covenant in the case of an emergency (not necessarily only an attack). Characters will be judged on the style and utility of this gift.
Please submit your activities in blocks of years 1-5, years 6-10, and years 11-16.
I'll add information regarding the infestation next weekend. I'm afraid that I don't have time now.
At ten years after apprenticeship every laboratory in the covenant will become infested by a plague of small supernatural creatures with a might of 10 (it's just the nature of the aura, you can't do anything about it). More details of the infestation will be supplied later. Characters will find a way to protect their laboratories from this scourge. They will naturally be judged on their use of good taste in this undertaking as well.
So there you are, sixteen years. Four little things to worry about. You should still have lots of time left for study to prepare your character for the rest of the game.
Does Puissant Magic Theory add to Xpofer's Magic Theory score when calculating laboratory personalization and specializations? For example, his Magic Theory needs to be higher than the lab's Refinement score to improve it. His Ability is 4, with Puissant Magic Theory adding 2, for a total of 6. Do I use 4 or 6 when determining how high I can make his lab's Refinement score?
The virtue description on page 48 says "for all totals". This doesn't look good. Page 110 of covenants says, "have a magic theory equal to..." this also doesn't look promising. Yet as the story guide I'll over rule such matters barring a general disagreement with my leniency.
Do we have to cordinate reading the covenant books during this advancement? For example, if I want Xpofer to read the Creo summa in year 3, do I have to make sure no one else is reading it, or can we hand wave this?
Reading from another thread, I see that Erik has house ruled the Penetration bonus for enchanted items from +2 for 1 increase in final effect level, to +1. Xpofer plans on making several enchanted items, as I bet our Verditius members are. Erik, which rules should we use? House rules (+1/1 spell level increase) or core rules (+2/1 spell level increase)?
Secondly, Erik, you said that you will be making all the die rolls. That's great, in fact I prefer that to me rolling them. Xpofer needs to make several during this first advancement. I'd like to send you year by year advancements, so you can make the appropriate rolls for me. Is this okay? Should I do that here, in another thread, or privately?
From my experience that and effect expiry are the weakest parts of the core rules. The two of them together turned almost everyone into an item crafter. It made no sense to bother learning many spells because penetrations over 100 with nasty effects became too trivial when put in items. David Chart tried to fix the effect expiry thing by placing an interpretation on Lesser Enchanted Devices. However, that still doesn't fix the effect expiry issue entirely.
So, while on that note, Erik, how do you rule Lesser Enchanted Devices with effect expiry?
(Level 51+ spells in items had some problems, too, but didn't get in the way of the flavor of the system in the same way.)
That house rule was for face to face games. I'd like to keep Irom Magus a bit closer to core. However I do honestly dislike the effects of easily attainable overwhelming item penetrtation on the game and one more post against them (in addition to callen's) might well be all that it takes to make me change my mind.
Sorry for the multitude of questions. First, thank you for posting the resource material to this section and hand waving the inter-covenant library loan system.
Now, for labs:
Can we assume any of the Free Virtues for laboratory personalization? For example, are they in Dedicated Buildings, do the Verditii automatically have studios? Or, should we incorporate Free Virtues with any minor or major Virtues that he take the time to install? For instance, if Xpofer sends a season to increase his lab's Refinement score, can I toss in Grand Entrance (free Structural Virtue) as a freebie?
Secondly, Xpofer would like a lab with a single entrance. Would Defenses cover this? I think yes, but I don't want to take anything for granted. Also, I'd like a few secret passageways and doorways in the lab, not that lead anywhere else besides the lab, but in which Xpofer can hide things. How does this sound:
Minor Structure Virtue
Secret Chamber(s): The lab has one or more secret rooms built into its design. These rooms are artfully concealed, requiring at least an hour's uninterrupted, careful search to find. +1 Aesthetics, +1 In.
Is it too wimpy for a minor Virtue? Should it be free? I figure that it would require re-building parts of the lab, and that should take a season, hence I made it minor.
Lastly, I'm assuming that, when you wrote "average Upkeep", that means a score of 0. Is that correct? Do I have to keep all of Xpofer's lab personalization at a 0 Upkeep? (Fine, if this is the case.)
Refining and adding Virtues to Xpofer's lab nets him two exposure xp in Magic Theory each season. This is how we do it in our saga, and I think it's kosher. Correct me if I'm wrong. Doing this, I realize how many free xp's I'd have gotten if Xpofer had an Affinity with Magic Theory.
So, I'm thinking of doing original research to discover a teachable version of Affinity with Magic Theory. While this is a common enough Virtue, I'd still qualify it as a Major Breakthrough, needing 45 breakthrough points. Once discovered, Xpofer will create a Hermetic Virtue that can be taught to magi, just like a Supernatural Virtue, except a maga does not need to subtract her existing Arts totals from the study total to learn the Virtue.
I think this is more appropriate for a Bonisagus character than searching out a Mystery Cult and hoping for initiation.
If you agree, we need to decide what Laboratory efforts will work for this original research. I'm thinking anything would fit the bill, for three reasons. First, nearly every laboratory activity uses Magic Theory. Second, it's a pretty common Virtue for all the work it will take. Third, it lets me use original research and will affect all sorts of laboratory activities in weird and wacky ways.