lab adjustment

A magus is investigating ancient magic, and before doing so installs a cauldron in her lab with a focus (+7) on experimentation. When the research is done, she begins refining the lab to remove the major focus flaw from the cauldron- when she does this can she also change the distribution of bonuses towards something else (vis extraction or longevity rituals for example?)

Yes, generally speaking, I think it's reasonable to allow a season of refinement to coincide with changing the bonuses of an existing virtue. Although, that cauldron's bonus will drop from +7 to +3 when the Greater Focus is actually removed...

Yes, but I'll gain my general quality back, and can always add a new focus later...

related question- can a lab also be a workshop?
If I have a "lab" with elementary (texts), greater feature (desk), greater focus (desk), greater feature (bookcase), greater feature (tablet), superior lighting, lesser expansion, refinement:3 and superior construction, can I use this as a scriptorium (using the +15 text bonus as +5 to scribe) and then begin investing labor points in materials and refinement for up to a +6 eventual bonus on top of the +5? Also does the quality bonus from the workshop total add to the quality of the text which is copied? Would the same apply to bookbinders and illustrators, minus the lab kickoff?
Also when you are looking at excellent items what counts as craft level versus craft ability? Bonuses from puissant ability? Assistants? It would seem that stats would be part of craft level but not ability, which means having low stats would make it easier to make excellent quality items, which makes no sense...

Well, there are other ways to gain back quality, season of refinement gives a chance of gaining highly organized...

With respect to your other question, that's a rather expensive proposition from a magus's time perspective. Time is the most valuable resource to a magus. That particular lab costs 2 (first feature and focus of desk) +2 (bookcase) +2 (tablet) + 1 (lesser expansion) for a minimum total of 7 seasons at a minimum, with more being necessary for refinement, depending on the starting size of the lab, and whether or not seasons of a magus's time needs to be invested in acquiring the superior construction and superior lighting virtues. I don't understand how the intersection of labor points would interact with a Hermetic lab. I'd be disinclined to really try and mesh the two things together.

It's a failed apprentice putting this together, and she has developed a bit of a fixation on the production of books. She has actually written a book and a few tracti on magic theory...

I think the concept of book production is rather vague. The end results are detailed, but just how is a book actually produced in Mythic Europe? Does it take a season for the author to scratch out their sloppy copy of the text, and then a season for the scribe to make it pretty and legible, a season for the illuminator to design and place illuminations, and a season to properly prepare the book, so that from start to finish it takes 1 year to complete a text? Or can some of these tasks happen concurrently? Or if not, what is the minimum time a magus needs to spend on the endeavor, and then how long after to have a book finished? I personally lean towards an entire year being necessary to create a book when considering the time of a magus and each of the three professionals.

I think all of these are relatively important questions to answer for your saga. Even if it is a failed apprentice interested in such a lab, unless the covenant is invested in making a profit from her efforts, and can afford not to have her help in the lab, then I think such a lab is something that would only be completed during her free time, which would normally be a season per year. It would be a labor of love for the character, more than anything. But presume that she can, with the benefit of all of the bonuses of the proposed lab be considered skilled for scribing, binding, and illuminating, you still have the question of how long it takes to author the book, and how long it takes to see it through to a final copy that can be fully utilized by someone else, with the full intended quality. I can also see her losing access to her baby, so to speak, when a magus wants to take over the lab and use it to write his magnum opus on an Art...

Actually the covenant has recognized her talents and has made her the librarian, and she would be using the lab/workshop to copy texts to expand the library. As a non-magus lab there is nothing to prevent multiple people from working there at once...

It's a lab built with Magic Theory, so I don't understand how you can call it a non-magus lab. Were that the case, the designs of Durenmar's guest labs for copying texts would be very different.

I mean that it is not part of a sanctum, owned by a mage, so there is nothing in the code that prohibits more than one mage (or scribe) from working in it at one time.

No, just the mechanical limitations of multiple limitations in a lab, namely 500 square feet each per RAW.

I know it's not RAW, but I'd really lean toward dividing the bonuses of the lab on the number of users. It seems wrong that two, three or more people can derive a +15 bonus each from one lab that they are sharing.

Actually according to covenants a 100 sqft lab can have multiple people working in it, they are just usually assistants or servants rather than multiple magi. 100 sqft is a 10x10 room, so this makes sense. The lab I'm looking at is size 2 or 800 sqft, or about 32x25

If each individual work they are not assistants or servants.
To clarify what I see, you have a scribe producing a finished good quality text, an illuminator who produces images on the paper evocative of the text, and a bookbinding putting the pages together. These are not assistants, these are medieval professionals engaged in their profession. They may all be necessary to the process, but they are all doing a distinct part of preparing a book.

Actually I'm talking about multiple scribes working in the same lab/workshop, not all 3 professions...

Sure, but my example was just that, an example. My statement was that each individual who works in the lab should not get the entire bonus of the lab.

So if a mage allows his apprentice to use the lab for an independent project he would need to split any bonuses with him?
What about things like the health bonus? Were all those threads about a hospital using those health bonuses just completely off?
It would seem to me that the bonuses for a lab are about the mystical energies of the environment, which is why they require magic theory to set up, and should apply to everyone using it. Now whether those bonuses are compatible with workshop innovation bonuses is another question...

Yes, actually, it was a lab flaw added in Apprentices, which specifically covered that possibility. Each magus needs 500 square feet of space and it is a -2 to GQ and -2 to Safety.

I'm not a fan of the health bonuses in the lab to be used as a hospital, to be honest[1]. A Hermetic lab is meant to be used by one person at a time. It's arguable whether someone in a pallet is using the lab or deriving benefit of the lab during convalescence. If on the one hand the lab requires Magic Theory to set it up, it's certainly a reasonable extension that it requires magic theory to accrue the bonuses, at least when there is a final product being produced. But if a whole bunch of people were in the lab convalescing, I would impose other attributes on the lab for that period, the one that comes to mine is the free virtue Person, which imposes bonuses to Corpus or Mentem for the magus using the lab, but also penalties to Safety.

[1] It's almost trivial to create CrCo Ring spells that perform better than the health bonus in a lab, it is at least no more difficult from a time perspective of refining the lab and then installing all of the necessary virtues, and then paying the upkeep, and probably much less.

It doesn't say anything about splitting bonuses, just -2GQ and -2 safety, neither of which affect the texts bonus, as there is no lab total for scribe work. Finally, an elementary lab, with no other virtues or flaws, is size -3 or 100 sqft, so allowing that you need 100 sqft of lab space for an elementary lab per project or suffer the shared lab flaw, and given that the shared lab space flaw does not affect copying texts, we can fit in one scribe every 50sqft, where the lab in question is 800 sqft, allowing for up to 16 projects. Each head scribe can, of course utilize a number of apprentices equal to their leadership skill and add half of their their skill to his effective skill.

I'm never agree with you. Even the RAW for the flaw says 500 square feet per user, and a -2 GQ -2 Safety per user. So if you go to 16 users, that's a -32.

I think you're better off going to a workshop system rather than a hermetic lab system, but then I'm not so familiar with the workshop rules in City and Guild.

So one magus working in a 100 sq ft elementary lab needs 500 sq ft? The write-up itself doesn't make sense or agree with the existing rules from covenants on this point. Which is hardly unusual. Of course the question I have asked from the beginning is whether you can have something that is both a lab and a workshop and uses the rules from both.

The standard lab is for one magus for 500 square feet.

First, you're not using the "lab" for magi, or even hermetic purposes. Second, you're trying to shoehorn 16 people into 800 square feet of space to work and produce texts. How much are you actually producing? Why do you need to produce so much? What is your goal, what do you expect to gain and what is reasonable or tells an interesting story?

Going back to the whole size and elementary take, it doesn't work the way I think you understand it. A standard lab is 500 square feet. If you create it for one season it has the Basic flaw, if you spend the second season it's a standard lab, it's still 500 square feet. An Elementary lab is a lab that is slightly better than a Basic lab, -2 GQ instead of -3 GQ, and can do one activity and be created in one season. It does not say that an Elementary lab is 100 square feet. To create a lab of 100 square feet, you have to take on flaws to account for the reduced size, but Elementary isn't one of those flaws, it has to be other flaws.