Here is a thread to address questions about our labs.

So, I'm looking at labs and what to do to set up a good lab when I was confronted by two facts:

1.) We're assuming an Aura of 3 for all pre-saga development.
2.) The covenant aura will almost certainly be greater than 3

That tells me that the labs that we're developing our characters in are not the labs we'll be starting the saga in. The reason this is important is that I don't want to spend a lot of time developing a lab if I'm going to have to toss it away when the saga begins. (Yes, I know there is a spell Ambulatory Laboratory that can move a lab. I'm not interested in getting my specific Arts high enough to learn the spell, nor do I want to get my Finesse high enough for the spell to work well enough.)

So what does the troupe think? Are these throw-away labs we're using for character development, or is it worth making some effort to make them better labs?

Also, in no particular order:

A.) What size will our labs be? Standard +0 Size or will they be bigger?

B.) How much Upkeep will the covenant pay for?

C.) Will the labs be able to start with any VIrtues or Flaws based on their general construction, shape, size, and initial supply?

I think we should wait till we finished with our covenant setting and then use this Aura when using the labs we build during our character generation. If the 1-3 more we probably have not affect the result then you already can go with 3 as we for sure have this Aura.

A. For a lab in the regio I don't think we need to restrict the size but keep in mind that a size increase kost more upkeep and so it mostly come down to B.

B. If we keep the wealthy I think we can go with a max +2 Upkeep paid by the covenant as this allows to install 1 or 2 virtue that need upkeep or a lab of bigger size.

C. I'm all for using the seasons during character generation that are needed to set up your lab, refine it and install virtues / remove flaws because we have all 4 seasons free with our magus instead of only have 3 free with the normal generation.
During char generation and at start we should asume full stocks unless your upkeep get to high and you have to take a resource related free flaw to cover for it.

Just for comment I go with a lab on a ship because a divine aura is good enough for the char once I start to use the lab. (At the age 40 snapshot I current have: Size +0, Mobile, 1x Unstable, Gallery, Undecorated and paid for it with 2+1 season)

Edit: Now I reached the point where I need to (re)invent spells and for this I might need the 2 Aura more. ^^

Whether inside the aura or out the spread out nature of our covenant more than allows for extra large labs. I agree with a maintenance limit, unless the character supports the maintenance above that in some way. (for example if we use the floating virtue concept a lab/sanctum that is set up with a business might have a secondary income- though the base income should probably be reduced for the fact that it is a single magus that is being represented- by the calculations in Covenants a typical income for a single magus covenant should be 25 lbs of silver a year)

That's a good solution to the problem of spreading out boons. I was thinking we'd need to avoid those boons in the floating boons just so they wouldn't overwhelm the economy. But cutting their benefit to 25 lbs of silver/year should solve that problem. That would also let Daedalus have the woodworking shop you wanted and Zacharias to have the scriptorium I'd suggested.

We should probably set an upper limit just to have some guideline. +4 perhaps?

I'm not that deep into the covenant income / expenses calculation but I know from my solo play that wealthy as it is in default covenants can shoulder quite some expenses.
My +2 Upkeep was just number into the blue so if you say a wealthy covenant can shoulder +4 upkeep for all its magus that is also fine with me.

I was proposing +4 for Size not Upkeep.

Considering the region is essentially an abandoned city functional size limits would be very large indeed. Inside the city a 50x80 space is +10 size (4000 sq ft), and probably would be the functional limit.

That assumes that the regio has a one-for-one correspondence with the city, i.e., it's as large as the city of Thessaloniki, but with fewer buildings. That may or may not be the case. As I understand regios, they might or might not have such a correspondence. The regio might be bigger or smaller than the city. One possibility is that it could be an alternate version of the city, but without people. But that's just one option.

Furthermore, even if the regio is large, I'd imagine that unless we got the boon Vast Aura, the portion of the regio that was level 6 would be of a more moderate size.

The real question is how much space do we have to work with in the level 6 aura? The way I paid for things was to spend minor boons to get us to level 5 and then a major boon to get us to level 6, since not all of the covenant is in a level 6 aura. All of our residences are in lesser auras, allowing the covenfolk somewhere to go where they won't get Warped.

Heck, given the way we've paid for it, there could be multiple regio levels, the most powerful one of which is aura 6, There could be a lesser regio level that was aura 5. It might be only our labs that are in the aura 6 level of the regio. Or is that making it too complicated?

I suppose the real question is from a play balance standpoint, what do we think a reasonable maximum size is for a lab?

I think in the end the real limit comes down to maintenance cost and difficulty to maintain the lab than a question of availability of space. Unless we are talking specifically about lacunae outside the region, which will be more limited,..

The only reason I ask is to determine how much time is needed to refine the lab, versus just adding things to the lab. If we can have size +10 labs then we'll effectively never need to refine the labs (unless we want a chance for highly organized), since there will be space galore.

Yea but with a large size Lab the upkeep can fast go trough the roof (Cov. 64).
Also if you I.e. have a 10 size lab you need at last 2+6 season to install 3 major virtue early in the character development to avoid the penalty from empty space.

After reading Cov. 64 I will probably change my lab to +3 Size and make it fixed instead mobile. This way I only have to make limited changes while stay with 30 pts or below for it and have a over all better lab.
(If needed I can use Missing Ingredients for Perdo to have a normal Upkeep 0 Lab)

Still it again come down how many point of Laboratory we are willing/ able to spend especial during the character generation. But size actual is also a separate problem if it only indirect add to the cost once the Upkeep get >0.

Edit: I suggest Size have to be paid with our 100 BP (cost 20 per +1 size as mentioned in Cov. 5) this way the max size will be +5, as it otherwise would cost nothing during char generation to have a bigger lab.
While each virtue have a 1 or 2 season time cost to be paid during character generation so there is no need to spend BP for them.

I think given the situation we might give +1 or +2 size for free and cost BP from there.

If this 100 or 200 BP are covered by the group BP that is fine with me. For now I paid all 60 BP for the size 3 Lab I want from the individual BPs we have but I wouldn't say no to 20-40 more BP.

This is a rough sketch of Poenitens' lab. I'm not totally up on designing and updating labs, but it's going to look like this:

The Jerbiton's lab is in the regio, on a beautiful hillside. (Virtue: Idyllic) He has a Dedicated Building that is Well-Insulated, with twice the normal lab space (size +3). It has a lot more equipment than usual, with a Greater Expansion Notably, there is a Altar, allowing Poenitens to make proper worship (Greater), a Pallet for examining patients, and a Cauldron to help device Longevity Rituals. He's got Superior Equipment made for him by covenfolk, and magical effects ensure Superior Heating and Lighting.


Altar: +3 Cr
Cauldron: +1 Longevity Rituals
Dedicated Building: +1 Upkeep, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Re
Greater Expansion: +2 GQ, +4 Upkeep, +1 Aesthetics, +2 Cr
Idyllic: +2 Health, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Cr
Pallet: +1 Cr
Superior Equipment: +1 GQ, +1 Safety, +1 Vis Extraction
Superior Heating: +1 Health, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Ig
Superior Lighting: +1 Aesthetics, +1 Texts, +1 Im
(Upkeep is not added for the last three items)

Total: GQ +3, Upkeep +4, Safety +1, Warping 0, Health +3, Aesthetics +5, Longevity Rituals +1, Texts +1, Cr +7, Re +1, Ig +1, Im +1 This costs 10 MP/year. Build Points - Size +3, 7 minor virtues and 2 major = 60 + 70 + 40 = 170 BP! Yikes!

(This takes considerable time to complete)

On page 114 of Covenants, it suggests that we burn 10 XP, representing a season, for each virtue, or 2 seasons for a major virtue. Is this acceptable? The running cost of the lab is another question, but I'll deal with that in the finances thread.

At last for the lab I build I used the 20 BP per size increase, used 3x 1 season Refinement and used 5 season (2x2+1x1) to install all features.

60 BP Lab Size +3

set up lab
set up lab

2 season install Greater Feature Altar +1 Creo + 2 Rego +2 Aestetics

3x Refine Lab 1d10+2+6 = 10,16,13 1st

  • Got Highly Organized +1 General Ql
    1 Season Minor Outfitting Lesser Expansion +1 General Ql +2 Upkeep +1 Teaching

2 Season install Greater Feature Summoning Circle +2 Spells +1 Creo +2 Aestetics; gain Undecorated -1 Upkeep -1 Aestetics specialization >2 get -1

I didn't go with any free Virtues like Superior Equipment etc. because I couldn't pay for the necessary item / people so far.
Although I think superior lighting could be get via circle magic what some of us could even do spontanous thanks to the aura of 6.

If we have to pay for the virtues with BP + seasons then I'm also in big problems.

Edit: @thompsja keep in mind unless I made a mistake my self you will need quite some refinement and so a very high Magic Theory (3+ number of refinement) if you stay with size 3 and have no flaws to install a the minor and major virtues. (I think each major virtue need 3 size / refinement / flaw points and each minor 1) With my 3 refinement to get a equivalent of a size 6 lab for virtues I needed a score of 6 in Holy Magic my Magic Theory replacement and 3 season to refine.

Right, so I'll have to think about some flaws to impose on my lab, I guess my Altar becomes a Greater Focus, and it may be Cramped.

This is good, I needed review on my plans to see if they were feasible.

Okay, so I was trying to figure out some possible items to buy/make for my lab. Here are a few possibilities that I've come up with. I wanted to run them by the troupe to see what bonuses they might give. I've made some suggestions as to what I think they might covver. Please let me know if you disagree with my categorization. I understand that people may disagree about these things.

FWIW, I went into the design process trying to think of things that would provide particular benefits (e.g., General Quality, Items, and Health). The rules say that any of these should be possible. I'm trying to figure out what particular items might fit the bill. My goal in this process is to narrow things down until I've found some items that give those benefits. (There must be some out there.) Yes, I know General Quality Items are really good. But there must be a few out there. The Tireless Servant can't be the only one. To be honest, if people think that one of my items should give +2 Aq instead of +2 Items, then I'll probably toss it out and head back to the drawing board.

Here are the items I've been toying with:

[size=150]The Faithful Equipment Stand [/size]
ReTe 30
This item is a metal stand with enough space on its top for a variety of pieces of useful equipment. The stand moves around to follow the magus so that he is never far from what he needs. He only need turn to retrieve an item or place an item in easy reach. The Equipment stand adds +1 point to General Quality and +1 to Items.
(Base 3, +1M Conc, +2M Metal, +1M Size, +5 item maintains concentration, +10 Unlimited use - final level 30)

My intent here was to find something that was all-around useful. And it seemed to me that a general purpose stand that followed you around would be incredibly helpful with a wide range of tasks. It's kind of like the Bookstand of Hespera, except that it can hold more than just a lab text. If people think that this still doesn't rise to the level of General Quality (if not this, then what?), then it could be +2 Items, +1 Rego.

[size=150]Third Hand[/size]
ReTe 30
This stone rod can manipulate any item from afar and secure it in place where the magus wishes. The user need only grasp the rod and speak a command word. Then an item in range can be manipulated remotely. Once the user ceases concentrating, the item will stay where it is placed even if in midair, until a second command word is spoken. The third hand operates with an effective Str of +5. Many magi use such an item to hold items in place that they are enchanting. Others use it to hold lab texts in midair for easy reference. Still others use it to hold items over a flame to avoid getting burned. This gives a +1 General Quality and a +1 to Rego.
(Base 3, +2M Voice, +1M Conc, +5 device maintains conc, +10 Unlimited use - final level 30)

Again, I was trying to find something that would be of general use in a lab for a variety of purposes. This seemed to fit the bill. It bears some resemblance in usefulness to the Tireless Servant. Again, if people don't like General Quality, it could give a +2 bonus to Items instead.

[size=150]Brazier of Heating[/size]
CrIg 20
This item is a a brass brazier. It serves to heat the room in which it’s placed to a comfortable warmth no matter how cold it is outside. The brazier of heating grants the Virtue Superior (Magical) Heating.
(Base 2, +1M Touch, +2M Sun, +2M Room, +5 Uses/day: 24 - final level 20)

Pretty standard item.

[size=150]Eternal Lamp[/size]
CrIg 30
This item is a brass lamp that creates light centered on itself equal to up to direct sunlight on a sunny day. The eternal lamp grants the Virtue Superior (Magical) Lighting.
(Base 5, +1M Conc, +1M variable light, +5 item maintains concentration, +10 unlimited uses - final level 30)

Also pretty standard. I realize there may be cheaper ways to technically meet the requirements of Superior Lighting, but I like the utility and flexibility of this one.

[size=150]Portable Flame[/size]
CrIg 30
This item is a small brass platform that can summon forth a flame that can be up to hot enough to melt lead (the user decides each time it's used). This device is very useful for heating a cauldron or the like without needing to start a conventional fire. The portable flame grants +2 to Items, +1 Ig.
(Base 10, +1M Conc, +1M variable heat, +5 item maintains concentration, +5 Uses/day: 24 - final level 30)

This seemed like a reasonable item for helping with items.

[size=150]Fan of Fresh Breezes[/size]
CrAu 20
This item is a fan that can create a breeze of fresh air that continually moves throughout a room, keeping the air continuously breathable even if the room is airtight. This item gives a +1 Health to a lab it's regularly used in.
(Base 1, +2M Voice, +1M Conc, +1M Unnatural, +5 device maintains conc, +10 unlimited use - final level 20)

I was trying to figure out something that would help with Health and it seemed that fresh air in a stuffy lab might be just the thing. If people don't like this, I'd welcome any suggestions for items that could improve Health in a lab.

In any case, I'm interested in hearing what people think of these items. I'm also willing to hear any alternate suggestions for items people may have.


All of your items seem fine, even the one with +1 General Quality - it's like the skeletal assistant that's in Covenants, so I'd say it's ok.