Large Library Rules

That's not the way the large library rules work. They assume that taken and used as a collection a large quantity of books can in some ways be greater then the sum of parts. 23 summae none with a level limit higher then 10 could give the library a Level 12. And as long as a lone readers level is below the library's they get a +3 study bonus over and above it's established quality. And any one can continue to study from the library after reaching the library's level for a total number of times equal to it's quality.

There are down sides. Added tracti increase the quality, usually to levels higher then any one text but ultimately a post Level Limit library will usually provide less xp then reading each Tractus seperatly should provide.

Using the rules seems to imply you gain speed at a loss of total potential.

The problem is that it kind of flies in the face of the rules for books themselves, and strikes me as a Macguffin rather than fitting the setting. At what point doe a few level 10 books suddenly become an effective level 12 book? Or to push it a bit further if I have an exceptional level 25 book how many level 10 books do I need to have sitting around to read my way up to level 27 or 28 in that art?

How so? These are new "optional" rules that add benefits to truly large collections of books on one subject. How do they fly in the face of older rules.

Not how understand the term. Macguffins aren't usualy useful in and of themselves within the scope of the story. They are merely a goal to achieve. The large library rules make acquiring a large collection a useful goal by providing improved study. Collecting books without these rules would be more of a MacGuffin as more and more books would cease to be useful to the character. To me dusty labyrinths of books filled with a deep and meaningful knowledge base are more in keeping with the setting then lean mercenary collections of the best summa you can buy and as many tracti as you can find.

Every Summa you add that has a Level+Quality within 3 points of the libraries current L+Q adds one xp to the Level. The level advances as an Art. So the answers to your questions are "23" and "81" if you can find books that will actually qualify.

As I mentioned in a previous post the problem with exceptional books is that you usually can't improve upon them by putting them in a collection collection. If your level 25 summa has a low quality and is the core book of the library there might be a few level 10 summa with very high Q that can help improve the level but it's unlikely to find 81 of them.

It should be pointed out that these rules appear in a chapter discussing the impacts of a publishing boom caused by magical "printing press" effects. So I think the intent of them is partly making sure lots of books have more of an effect on characters then spending more time reading.

Is there any Secondary Insight type of effect for studying in a Large Library? I'd expect that part and parcel of studying from a library as a whole instead of only a stand-alone book would likely lead to picking up a few extra XP in Arts and/or Abilities related to the main subject of study.

aside from some kind of resonance a la folios, a lower level summae shouldn't be able to add to the level of a higher level summae... It's like trying to build a house of water...

Or rather, trying to make an existing house taller by putting bricks next to it.

They don't. They add to the library as a whole technically the Level of a Library isn't a Level Gain Limit like a Summa. Why can't the rules about a large collection allow for the aggregate Level be higher then the summae of it's parts. Is Synergy that hard a concept to believe in.

Dwelling of Aqueous Humor -Mu(Re)Aq(Te) level 40
R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part
This spell forms a cozy well furnished home out of either fresh or salt water. While still unmistakably constructed of water the building and accouterments feel like standard materials hold their shape and support weight and arguments as though they are the real thing.
(Base 5, Touch +1,Moon +3, Part +2,Complexity+1)

Clearly one part of your analogy is possible in this game why not the other?

One way to do "research" in the real world is to aggregate what has come before. If your library had ten related texts, someone who reads them all could find a common thread or aspect hinted at but not fully explored in any one book. Then you use the library as a reference to write your term paper, just like it's done in the real world. In this analogy, lower level texts can easily synergize to give insights greater than any of the components.

I'm buying the concept, although I doubt you'd see it actualized in game in anything but the longest running sagas.

Just.... Beautiful....

Bob Dillon


Excuse me. I have something in my... Oh, wait, never mind.

It goes without saying that Transforming Mythic Europe is a book about the potential for big changes in the setting, like flooding the market with books. One idea I think it sorta brings up is starting a saga in the midst of a big change. So the saga and characters are less focused on making the changes and more focased on dealing with them.

Starting with in a setting where magi are just getting used to almost every covanant able accumulate large libraries could be interesting. You could come up with a formula for purchasing libraries with build points. Or just adjust the price of individual texts down,

I have been thinking about books like the Bible, that are one compound of many different Summas and/or Tractatus. Iwuld make the same rul like the Specialists, you pay the greater Advance total one time. if the book can't be studied by different people at same time. What do you think?

Canonically (No pun intended) the Bible is a L10Q3ish Summa for Theology. Which makes it less usefull by itself as a learning tool in-Game. But it makes an excellent core book for the Large Library Rules.

Personally I love to use books in my sagas that have multiple scores. So a summa for Ignem + A Tractatus for spell mastery Boaf + Tractatus for Code of Hermes entitled Blowing things up for Fun and Profit.


I find that the canonical book rules fall apart very hard when they reach the major religious texts.

I've read the Koran, and it does not have a Quality of 10. Maybe 3. It is not an easy read. As for source level, it is about as useful for understanding Islamic Theology as the Gospels are for understanding medieval Christian theology. Which is to say, very little. In a similar way, it isn't at all obvious how Jews start at "don't cook a kid in its mother's milk" and arrive at "keep two sets of dishes and don't eat chicken within a few hours of eating cheese." Without outside help, a close reading of the Jewish Bible is not necessarily going to yield that insight. (And, FWIW, Jewish tradition acknowledges this. In a similar way, Christians and Muslims have supplemented their primary religious texts with a much larger volume of commentary, law and legendaria.)

On the other hand, the centrality of these texts is quite clear. In medieval mythology, these texts have a lot more to say. In ME, when the Talmud says, "Everything is in it (the Jewish Bible)" they mean exactly that: Everything.

Assigning Source and Quality levels to this kind of text ranges from mildly offensive (is the Koran really a better book than the Christian Bible?) to utterly missing the mark on how these texts were used.

There is also a more general issue at work: In RL, there is only so much I can learn about a topic through study. Once I know it, I can only learn more through original research that succeeds in breaking new ground. Refreshing the web page, reading another book that repeats the same information, doing another web search, none of this will avail. (But having seen more presentations of a topic, I will probably be able to teach it better.)

The canonical AM rules suggest a straightforward way of dealing with limits: A character can only study and train up to twice the level of the best summa he has read about some topic (art/ability/etc). Anything beyond that requires original research of some kind, or finding a better summa. You must read the entire summa to "rebase." You cannot start off with a tractatus, because the summa provides necessary context. A teacher can always teach you up to the level he knows, but the reason that teachers use standard texts (summae!) is that a student still needs a fundamental context to learn further on his own. Finally, any summa can be used as a tractatus equal to its quality, but this does not count as mastering it sufficiently for that to be considered the best summa.

The canonical rules also suggest a straightforward way of dealing with large libraries: A collection of books is nothing more than a collection of stuff, and follows the usual rules.

These two ideas are not quite compatible, and need refinement.

The problem of religious texts remains that. I dislike seeing numbers attached to these; I feel especially uncomfortable seeing numbers attached to books I am quite familiar with. (EG: Can you really become an expert on medieval Christian theology by reading a single book by St Augustine and nothing else???) I suppose I would have a similar issue with non-religious texts were I more familiar with them.

I need to think more.



Part of the problem is that RoP: The Divine lists the Torah as part of the Bible, but doesn't specifically state you can study it as the Torah (probably losing points of Quality due to translation). Also, Paul's letters contain some useful theological arguments that should rate far better than what's listed in RoP: The Divine.

Given how high the book rates the Torah and the Koran, it's sad the Bible gets such short shrift. Quality 3 is next to worthless.

Personally I see no problem with assigning quality to these religious texts- that is just a measure of how easy they are to read and understand. Assigning a maximum level seems rather counter-logical however. Unless they are being used to study a related theology (reading the Torah for greater understanding of Islam, for example)
on the other hand, can a finite number of words hold infinite comprehension?

The Quran, IMO, is overrated in terms of Level; it's quite usable as a be-all end-all source of Theology: Islam knowledge, when it should be seen as more of a starting point.

I would seriously down-level all three central scriptures. They're good starting points (and the Qur'an has ritual and magical importance far beyond its role as a theological text), but I think that the meat of Christian theology (during the medieval period, anyway) is in arcane arguments between Church Fathers and during councils (the arguments over the nature of the Trinity and transubstantiation come to mind), the meat of Jewish theology is in the endless commentaries on commentaries on commentaries, and the meat of Islamic theology is in studying (and checking the sources of) the hadith.

(More importantly, completely studying the Qur'an should not be a lifetime's work, because it should not be impossible or even difficult for a PC to be a hafiz.)