Let's Design a Folio! (Updated)

Over the course of seven years, the Colentes Arcanorum (see HoH:TL 10-11) receive between fifteen and thirty Lab Texts and tractatus submitted for consideration in the next Folio. At their meeting, held at an agreed-upon Regional Tribunal, the five members of the Colentes Arcanorum decide what will be included and what will not. "Only the best material is used. Unimaginative or routine Lab Texts are passed over, as are low Quality Tractatus or those on uninteresting subjects." Original research and Lab Texts that include experimentation are valued. Well-written tractatus are useful, but Lab Texts are preferred. "New spells and magic items are interesting, but the emphasis is on knowledge that pushes the boundaries of Hermetic magic."

Folios are disseminated through the Order by Redcaps (for a price), and some covenants may have a great many of them in their library. This thread is an exercise in creating one of these books; we will create a play aid, demonstrate the process, and see what kind of creative ideas everyone comes up with. (While there is a brief example in HoH:TL, none of the interesting qualities of any of the Lab Texts or tractati are discussed. In other words, it illustrates the mechanics of Folio selection without actually giving a Saga the things which make a Folio noteworthy.)

The five Bonisagi who are assembling this particular Folio are:

Archmage Petrus (ToP 70), Magic Theory 12
Conscientia (MoH 27) age 65, Magic Theory 12
Richard Strabo (LoH 80), Magic Theory 10
And two additional younger Bonisagi, whom we will name Alphonse (from the Rome Tribunal) and Bete Noire (from Normandy), each with Magic Theory of 8.

The Folio thus has a combined tractatus Quality and Lab Text magnitude of 50.

The first step is to collect submissions.

Each post in the thread must contain one and only one submission.
The submission must qualify for the Folio (be a Lab Text or tractatus).
Biographical data on the author, as well as other notes and observations, are welcome.

Update: We now have enough submissions for the selection process to begin; I count 18 up through Dunia's Wizard in the Well. I'll leave the thread open for a few more days and then start the review process. Thank you to everyone who has put their ideas forward!

Re(In)Im30 Discorporate Essence of the Wizard (R: Per, D: Ring, T: Ind)
While in the circle, the caster can project his voice, sight and hearing just like with Image from the Wizard Torn, or alongside an Arcane Connection to himself [ArM5, p. 147].
This is a variant of IftWT, but much more useful.

It is submitted by Tyro Critias Electus, Filius Hippasi, Discipulus Jerbitonis, Apfelgildensis - a magus from Triamore in the Rhine Tribunal of Hermetic age 13, reputed an ambitious Numerologist. [spoiler]His covenant has Richard Strabo in their pocket: they know about a certain minor crime of his that would destroy his House Acclaim, if it became known. :sunglasses:[/spoiler]


Quercus in Promptu (Oak Revealed) by Quercus of Tytalus.
Herbam Tractatus Q7. (no bonuses for binding, illumination and similar added)
This tractatus explores the possibilities offered by oak as a construction material both for real state and for naval vessels. The uses are many, and it has shown to be a strong wood yet surprisingly supple to magical manipulation while resistant to lightning. It is the first comprehensive text on the subject written in the last 200 years. THe book explores in special depth the collaborative efforts of several magi while constructing a ship using this wood.

The Oak Revealed is a tractatus that Quercus wrote while in triamore. They have had it under cow and calf oath for 7 years according to their contract. He sends it in once the 7 year period finishes.

Intellego Physica (Tractatus Q15 on Magic Theory) by Tyro Teodorus, Discipulus Bonisagi, a magus from Triamore in the Rhine Tribunal reputed as keen researcher out to restructure Magic Theory, and extremely gifted author.
This book treats the inner structure and related systematics of InAq, InAu, InIg and InTe spells as an elementary prerequisite to research in the intrinsic systematics of general Hermetic effects - which the author plans to perform later. The book as is already expounds many tricky issues of Magic Theory in an unusually clear, simple, concise and structured style. Hence it is bound to become a classic soon.


Peanut Gallery post. Q15 Tractatus is probably submitted, but it probably doesn't make it into the folio at that quality. Subtract the resonances, and probably all of the work of skilled artisans, and it is probably scribed quickly, to boot. I'd say that there is a notation that fully describes the resonant materials and quality of the books workmanship so that readers know the original source is better than what is included in the folio. They may even be exemplars, shrinking the size down, and reducing the quality by another 3. Readers would know that this is a quality text by its inclusion. A Q15 tractatus could show up as a Q6 tractatus in the folio, for example.

This one will go into the Folio at exactly the Q15 I stated - without resonances. Bonuses for skilled scribe, skilled illuminator and skilled binder are expected, though, if you use the extended rules of Covenants p.87f.
I also do not quite believe that the Colentes Arcanorum publish their folio as an exemplar, unbound, flap-bound or such - but that depends on the level of poverty the SG puts House Bonisagus at. EDIT: Certainly 'folio' from late middle ages on refers to a huge book (look here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_size ). And the expense for its format usually also implies some care with its manufacture and editing.


Deambulanti per Lapidem Coruscante (Q11[+1] Commentary on Bonisagus's Art of Magic)
Submited by Giraldus ex Bonisagus a middle aged wizard now living in the Greater Alps Tribunal who was fostered for a time at Durenmar. Giraldus is a skilled writer and his "Walk In Shining Stone" is a worthy submission, a worthwhile read for any Magus who has spent at least one season studying Bonisagus's classic text. It is also a popular selection among Bonisagus for it's nostalgic references to the House's Domus Magnae and it's famous Great Work.

Rules Note: The Folio rules don't directly discuss commentaries. I assume both that they can be included same as tractati and that the bonus quality point doesn't contribute to the folio's point total just like it doesn't cost extra build points.

Sagittarius (Armed with bow and arrows); Tractatus Q9 on the topic of Penetration.
Submitted by Beatriz Morineau de Palma Ex Flambeau from the School of Sebastian

Throughout this tractatus a visualization concept is emphasized: the arrow and the bow. Bow is representing all preparation a Maga can build: the gestures, voice, focus and sympathetic connections; and the arrow: the spell itself. Strengthening one's determination is explained just like creating the perfect arrowhead, sharpening the edges to cut through skin, armour or scales of a beast with ease.
The tractatus' closing section mentions the success achieved by Beatiz, but does not detail, the practical implementation: utilizing a crossbow of Vilano and retrieving the blooded arrow.

It is quite clear for the gracious five Bonisagi: Beatriz's entry is only the first of a Tractatus series on the very same topic. The ending words are quite likely added to kindle interest for her other, more practical and tactical utilization of the Terram Hermetic Magic. Beatriz is know in the Roman Tribunal to frequently sail the Mediterranean Sea hunting magical creatures for Vis or pirates using catapulta.

It's interesting that even with Com+5 and the Good Teacher Virtue, the maximum tractatus Quality by corebook rules is 14.
Q15 (assuming the bonuses posited by the poster) then means Com+6... A supernatural author? Demonic assistance?

As the character who wrote the Tractatus is a PC, and not mine, I can and will not discuss actual stats here. But to get an idea of their direction, have a look at HoH:TL p.107 Mythic (Characteristic) - for Teodorus applied not to rolls but a bonus - and p.109 Legacy.


Just to put a rest to the sideline conversation about book quality:

The rules for Folios came out before Covenants, and aren't entirely compatible with them, since it is specifically stated that the Bonisagus magi do the book copying themselves. Instead, we'll just be using the original rules for book quality out of AM5. This solves the problem, because a Quality 15 tractatus is rare but perfectly possible for a Good Teacher with Great Communication x1 (+4).

Moving on!

Bodies are all the Same: Tractatus Q10, 1/2 towards Corpus, 1/2 towards Animal.

Written by a Bonisagus researcher who's engaged in a long-term research project to combine Corpus and Animal into a single form. His project is motivated partly by his lycanthropy, although he tries to keep that quiet.

Reading this tractatus provides an insight towards the research.

Aging the Babe: Level 50 Creo Corpus(Mentem) [ritual]
R: Touch, T: Ind, D: Sun
Ages a newborn to five years old over the cause of a single day; they gain a score of 4 in their native language, and 30 experience in skills of their choice.
(Base 30, +1 touch, +2 sun, +1 requisite)

Due to the experimentation required for its creation this ritual only works if cast within a single moon of the babe's birth (restriction), but it doesn't count towards their age for the sake of aging rolls (significant side benefit).

The researcher behind it is attempting to create a spell to instil knowledge in an adult subject, but so far she's only been able to make it work alongside the earliest stage of physical maturation.

Erm 6+4+3=13 not 15. There are a few ways to get Q15 in the various books (mythic characteristic, essential characteristic, com+6, vitkir runes, etc.) Its hard, but not impossible.

I came to the realization that high quality/Mag submissions take up a lot of space. Fifty points doesn't go that far. Also aren't folios a strictly a Bonisagus thing. I was under the impression other houses couldn't contribute to folios.

Aymeric ex Bonisagus a young researcher from the Normandy tribunal. He is conducting Original Research with the goal of changing how Wards Aegis and Penetration interact. Both young and cautious he is sticking the slow and careful style of research, experimenting on low magnitude effects to minimize his chances of taking warping. This means that so far he has made very little progress but a great many weirdly altered effects. One version of Aegis he's created a has particularly useful and (he thinks) folio worthy side effect.

Vitrum Murum A lab text for Aegis of the Hearth ReVi 10, This ritual corresponds to Aegis of the Hearth with one side effect do to experimentation. If a creature with a magic might higher then 10 forces it's way through the Aegis the whole spell will collapses and need to be recast. While a low power Aegis with a tendency to collapse is not to useful in it's traditional role with a little creativity it makes a handy magic tripwire. The spell will not collapse if the creature is legitimately invited and carries a casting token as per the usual Aegis. And much to Aymeric's annoyance the spell will not collapse if it fails to penetrate the trespassers MR.

Lamech, I mistakenly though Good Teacher added 5, but you are right, it only adds 3 to books.

Regardless, the amount of XP a tractatus gives is actually one of its least interesting attributes and can be edited by a Storyguide as he sees fit. No doubt making such a book was a triumph for the PC who managed it, but Folios are principally about something other than "a bag of XP."

maine75man, if you think 50 points is low, the sample Folio in HoH:TL has only 35!

As to which House can enter, this is not explicitly discussed in HoH:TL. Being published in a Folio grants Bonisagus House Acclaim, which only Bonisagus are likely to care about, but if a submission from a magus of another House showed up on the desk of one of the Colentes Arcanorum, I think that individual would probably submit it to the rest of the group along with the others, to be judged on its merits. There might be some anti-Bonisagus prejudice on the part of some members of the committee, but this is just one of many considerations.

There are some very cool submissions here. My thanks to all those who have contributed so far.

Not to low. Merely something to consider when simulating the submission and selection process. If the submissions average around 10 that's only 5 items that can be included. If the average is closer to 7, then your talking also talking 7 chapters. So the question is what does the Colentes Arcanorum prefer a few impressive works or several more esoteric constituents. I'm sure it varies from folio to folio.

Actually piecing the folio together will also be an exercise in compromise. Everyone might like the combination of works A B C D and E but that leaves you two points over. So you have to swap one or two out for different submissions to get it to work. I'm sure in character it would be debates about size and theme, but OOC your just getting the points to work out.

Rereading HoH:Tl pg 10 it is explicitly stated that the purpose of the Colentes is to distribute the latest research of House Bonisagus. As this is to meet the House members Oath to share their research with the Order in general I would think the inclusion work from other houses would be a problem.

Mythic (characteristic) applies to rolls, not totals - like faerie sympathy. Assuming it can increase a lab total or the Quality of a written text is a house rule of your saga. Reasonable, but still a house rule. The submission for the folio should probably be flagged as such, so that people who use it know.

It looks like I need to repeat to you, that for the reasons you quoted I can not reveal the real stats of Teodorus - so you cannot discuss them here for now.

But to still give you something to discuss: Mythic Communication has a specialty prolific author explicitly listed on HoH:TL p.107, which makes no sense if you add the +1 to rolls only: there are no relevant Com rolls for authoring. So to make sense of it you should read the Mythic Communication in this case to apply the +1 bonus to the Quality calculations instead. It is as little a house rule as deciding, that listing the specialty prolific author just was a mistake of the chapter's author.
Indeed we often had this kind of problem in early ArM5 books before: there are already many errata items sorting out bonuses to rolls from bonuses to all relevant values.


Guys, it's really not especially important whether the tractatus is Quality 15 or 14, or even how it got that way.

I'd appreciate everyone's help keeping our focus on new submissions and everyone's great ideas.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to repeat yourself, since in my post you cite there is no mention of this top secret PC. I am just talking about the Mythic Characteristic Virtue.

Your statement that "there are no relevant Com rolls for authoring" is both unsupported, and not supporting your main thesis either. I could very well see the storyguide asking for a Com+Storytelling roll to see if a PC can keep the faerie princess entertained with a constant stream of stories throughout the season. Prolific author would then apply as a specialty. Also, I'm not really sure why "prolific" would apply to the Quality of books one writes; prolific is about quantity, not quality. So, to reiterate: there are other ways one could achieve a Quality of 15 on a Tractatus, but by RAW Mythic Communication is not one of them.