We have a sahir in our Troupe, and the player is looking into the laboratory personalization rules from Covenants (pages 109-123).
While most of the rules can be used as written for a Solomonic Laboratory, and others require very little adaptation, there's one mechanic that needs adapting to Solomonic Magic for which we have yet to reach a consensus, which is Refinement. Increasing the Refinement characteristic requires, among other things, a score in Magic Theory of at least the new level of Refinement + 3. Also, there's a roll of Intelligence + Magic Theory when increasing Refinement for getting the Highly Organized Virtue and spotting any existing Hidden Defect Flaws. Also, when a new laboratory is set up by a magus with Magic Theory below 3, its starting Refinement is lower than the baseline of 0.
Obviously, a sahir doesn't have Magic Theory, so we're trying to come up with an alternate Ability to use in place of it. We're having a hard time deciding on which one we should use, though, so I thought maybe I could share this with you all and see what you think.
So far, we've thought that maybe Artes Liberales or Philosophiae could be good candidates, but that kind of favors those sahirs focusing on Solomonic Astrology or Solomonic Alchemy, respectively, so we're not very happy about those choices. We feel it should be a "neutral" Ability, one that's not tied to any Solomonic Art.
What do you think?
You might start the lab at Refinement 0.
To improve it, you can require that the Sahir bind his lab to a spirit, and use the magnitude of that spirit's Might, plus/minus a campaign dependent constant, to determine its achievable Refinement. And then you can tie Highly Organized, Hidden Defects and lab Personality traits to that spirit's personality traits.
Balance this with your troupe. Add seasoning to taste. What do you think?
Mmmmh, I like that. I think we were too focused on trying to mirror the hermetic laboratory personalization, and thus kind of stuck with the concept that Magic Theory would have to be substituted for another Ability. But the concept of binding a Spirit and using its Might's magnitude as the basis for Refinement sounds really cool.
I think probably a good baseline would be a Might magnitude requirement of the target (new) Refinement level + 2, since summoning a Might 10 Spirit is listed in tC&tC as the "standard minimum" you should be able to summon, when designing a sahir as a character.
I'll run this with my Troupe, and specially the sahir player, but I think they'll like this idea.
You might want to have a look at A&A, p.70, where it deals with the laboratories of experimental philosophers, since three of the Solomonic Arts (Alchemy, Astrology, and Physics) are essentially "magic-boosted" versions of the "natural magic" achieved through Philosophiae, Artes Liberales and Medicine.
Nice catch, Fafnir, I didn't realize that. I'll have a look at A&A.
As for One Shot's recommendation, I really like the idea of a djinni bound to a lab, but in reviewing Refinement I realized it has more to do with efficiently arranging your lab than anything else, so I don't think it should be based off a bound djinni's Might. I think I'll keep the bound djinni idea, but as a Supernatural Virtue for the lab instead.
I might just use the highest of the sahir's Solomonic Art-related Abilities for the cap on Refinement. Still need to think it through, and then present it to the Troupe.