Lab texts for integration question

Hey - this just came up in our game - I've always assumed that the lab texts that end up getting created when you generate an Insight (Ancient Magic, pg. 8-9, Hedge Magics pg. 14-16) are actual lab texts - as such, once you gain the Insight, you develop the spell as though you are reading from a lab text (ie, you only need to have a lab total greater than the lab text). However, the folks I play with read that as you need to develop a spell as per the normal development rules (ie, you need 2x the lab text to develop the spell in a single season.)

Is there any clarification on this?

There are two types of Lab Texts involved with gaining breakthrough points from Insights, as summarized in AM p.7 Box The Integration Process.

The first type are Lab Texts produced during seasons spent gaining Insight (Item 2 of AM p.7 Box The Integration Process, AM p.8 Insight): they are not Lab Texts for the effect inspired by the Insight.

These Lab Texts allow only to experiment to create the effect and thus gain breakthrough points (Item 3 of AM p.7 Box The Integration Process, AM p.8f Creating the Effect).

Successful experimentation creates the second type of Lab Texts, which are more standard.


Yes - the 1st type is referred to as an Insight lab text, and has an effective (for the purpose of copying) level equal to it's Breakthrough difficulty level (ie, 30/45/60). My question is on the 2nd one - once you successfully retrieve the Insight (ie, roll the 18+ on a MT+int+Inventive Genius roll from either studying the original source or reading the Insight Lab Text) - is the process of inventing the Breakthrough effect done as though you are reading from a text (ie, you only need to beat the level of the effect to create it), or are you creating it from effectively scratch? (so you need to have 2x the level of the spell in order to create it in a single season)?

I've always assumed that, since you were reading from a Lab Text (even though it's the Insight lab text), then you were using the "read from a lab text" rules. However, the folks I am currently playing with are interpreting it as "no, the Insight lab text grants you the potential to have a non-hermetic effect: you must develop the Breakthrough effect as though you did not have a similar lab text in front of you."

If you have both the Insight Lab Text (the first type) and the Lab Text from successful experimentation (the second type), successfully studying the former one gives you the Insight, and successfully reproducing the latter gives you the effect.

Having the Insight and reproducing the effect also gets you the breakthrough points, as said in my AM p.9 quote above.

AFAICS, the Lab Text from successful experimentation (the second type) is otherwise just a normal (ArM5 p.101f) Lab Text for the magical effect, and using it gives the usual benefits from ArM5 p.102 Using Laboratory Texts. If it were not, that needed to be spelled out in AM p.8f Creating the Effect somewhere - and it isn't.


Experimentation can be done on pretty much any lab activity. My question is: is the experiment (assuming you have only the Insight lab text) done as a potentially multi-season activity (as described in AM5th, pg 95), or is it done in 1 season, as though you had access to a Laboratory Text (AM5th, pg. 101-102)?

I ask because the description of what one does for a Breakthrough (reproducing an exact effect) sounds suspiciously like you're reading from a Lab Text. And after all: you do, in fact, have a Lab Text in front of you (although it's an Insight lab text.)

EDIT - I've always interpreted these rules to mean that, once you gained the Insight, the magi was able to use the research notes (ie, the Insight Lab Text) as a regular lab text - that there was enough about the effect in those Insight lab notes that they would make it much easier to create the effect in question, rather than having to develop it from scratch. Once the spell/enchanted item/whatever was developed (in one season), the magi will ALSO have a set of lab notes with the integrated effect in it that anyone could read.

EDIT - and there is mention of the Insight process taking potentially multiple seasons (ie, you can fail the MT roll one season, but try again the next), but no mention of the Experiment taking multiple seasons. (There's no mention of the timeframe at all, unfortunately.) Further, the examples given in the description of Insight/Breakthrough aren't helpful - there's no mention of multi-season work, and the one example they have of lab totals (having a 31 while trying for a lvl 40 spell) isn't really useful. (I don't know of any player in their right mind that would even try for a multi-season project with a lab total that low - even if you had 2 lab assistants and a familiar, that would still put you into the 3-4 season timeframe. But if the player only needed to get 40 or better, than that would be a reasonable thing to attempt.)

But again - the group I'm currently with is interpreting this to mean that once you gain the Insight, you invent the spell from the ground up - the Insight lab text grants only the non-hermetic effect, and nothing more.

The Insight Lab Text (first type) communicates just the Insight: see AM p.8 Insight.

It is not a Lab Text making the lab work to gain breakthrough points by creating the effect any easier: AM p.8f Creating the Effect would need to mention that otherwise - and it doesn't. It is also not very reasonable to assume, that magus A, who gained his Insight from other texts, relics or teachers, would have a harder time with the experimentation than magus B who just read magus A's account of his research for the Insight.

To me, your troupe looks right about the issue.


My assumption is that anyone reading the Insight lab text would have to make the 18+ MT roll before being able to invent the associated spell. So as such, the Insight lab text isn't doing double-duty as both Insight and (regular) Lab Text - you need to spend a season studying it (if you didn't develop it) in order to figure it out. And in that scenario, that sounds like exactally what should happen - Magi A does all the work over multiple seasons and writes up a really nice set of research notes, and Magi B reads the research in 1 season and (assuming he can understand it) comes to the same conclusion. That's kind of what reports are supposed to do. It also gives a reason for stealing other magi's research, and justifies a magi who might want to hide his research (until it's complete and ready for full publication, of course.)

That being said, I do suspect that my interpretation probably falls to Occam's Razor, rather than any specific "no, do it this way" ruling - it does look like the more simple explanation is that it's developed like a normal spell.

I don't see the source of this assumption either.

We have:


The Insight Lab Text (first type) is not a source of the Insight, but already the successful deliberation - Intelligence + Magic Theory against an Ease Factor of 18 - of an Hermetic magus about such a source: hence far more accessible for another magus. And nowhere in AM p.7ff Hermetic Integration of Ancient Magic your assumption above is mentioned.