Library discussion

I'm giving this it's own specific thread to hopefully avoid derailment- this is specifically for discussion about what books are in the library. We currently have 444 build points, which could go up to 493 if Agapitus decides to take a lab in a box, the consensus seems to be that we should spend at least 6 of these for a perci... can we go with parchment maker? Of the remainder some amount will probably be spent on other specialists and/or vis supplies, but the lion's share will go to the library. As has been pointed out we have a scriptorium, and taking our profits from that in the form of fully mundane books should be trivial. Hermetic abilities (finess, penetration, magic theory) are not trivial but also not difficult to obtain for silver, so the focus likely should be on arts, or possibly lab texts.

Here's what I proposed in the other thread:

Library (274 points)

  • Terram summa L23 Q12 (free from the Exceptional Book boon, on the Art that got the most votes)
  • Creo summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Intellego summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Aquam summa L13 Q18 (31 points)
  • Animal summa L13 Q18 (31 points)
  • Vim summa L12 Q14 (26 points)
  • Corpus summa L10 Q15 (25 points)
  • Imaginem summa L8 Q21 (29 points)
  • Finesse summa L8 Q11 (35 points)
  • Magic Theory summa L8 Q11 (35 points)

We don't have the whole 444 points to spend on the library, as we also want some vis sources (I suggested 125 points) and some specialists (we were looking at 42 points there).

This list is just a starting point for discussion, of course. :smiley:

I'm definitely going to defer to the rest of you on this, but it occurs to me that we're all pretty deficient in Mentem. Do we want a Mentem summa, or are we willing to wait until we can trade for one?

If we're all weak on Mentem, perhaps it is simply that it wasn't much of a priority for our magi. So it makes sense that we would not have worked as hard on obtaining a summa on the subject.

As soon as one of us develop an interest about it, then I'm sure we'll look to get some books on the subject. Starter summae (L5Q15 to L6Q21) should be relatively easy to acquire. More advanced works will follow as needed.

I know we were hoping for a less insanely powered game but the quality on those things are nuts, if you want to hold back on the rapid advancement those are a lil crazy.

I know and I tend to agree, but the rules in Covenant for build points are stacked that way. It is a much more efficient use of build points to purchase a high-level/high-quality summa than any other kind of book.

For example, a L16Q15 summa can provide up to 136 xp in that Art (about 9 seasons of efficient study), for those 31 build points. By comparison, two L8Q8 summae will only provide you with 72 xp in the same time for the same cost in build points. Tractatus are even worse, with 3 Q10 tractatus providing only 30 xp.

So unless the storyguide or the troupe put limits (or purposefully decides to limit) the high-level/high-quality summae when designing the covenant's starting library, there is little incentive in the rules to purchse anything but those.

Now, if we wanted to go that way (and I'd be on board if we did), then a more balanced starting library could look something like this:

Sample Library #2 (274 points)

  • Terram summa L23 Q12 (free from the Exceptional Book boon, on the Art that got the most votes)
  • Creo summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Animal summa L13 Q16 (29 points)
  • Aquam summa L13 Q12 (25 points)
  • Intellego summa L12 Q10 (22 points)
  • Vim summa L12 Q9 (21 points)
  • Corpus summa L10 Q15 (25 points)
  • Imaginem summa L5 Q15 (20 points)
  • Mentem tractatus Q12 (12 points)
  • Magic Theory summa L6 Q15 (33 points)
  • Finesse summa L3 Q15 (24 points)
  • Penetration tractatus Q11 (11 points)
  • Code of Hermes tractatus Q10 (10 points)
  • Magic Lore tractatus Q11 (11 points)

By Covenant's definition, that would give us 3 "sound" summae (Creo, Animal and Magic Theory), 6 "vain" summae and 4 "vain" tractatus. For exactly the same cost as the first library. It still has many holes, but a few more subjects are covered.

Here's a third sample library, this time geared to a library making more use of tractatus and lower-level summae, making it less efficient in its use of build points.

Sample Library #3 (274 points)

  • Terram summa L23 Q12 (free from the Exceptional Book boon, on the Art that got the most votes)
  • Creo summa L16 Q15 (31 points)
  • Animal summa L16 Q13 (29 points)
  • Aquam summa L13 Q12 (25 points)
  • Intellego summa L12 Q10 (22 points)
  • Corpus summa L7 Q15 (22 points)
  • Vim summa L6 Q21 (27 points)
  • Mentem tractatus Q11 (11 points)
  • Imaginem tractatus Q11 (11 points)
  • Auram tractatus Q11 (11 points)
  • Magic Theory summa L6 Q15 (33 points)
  • Finesse summa L5 Q15 (30 points)
  • Penetration tractatus Q11 (11 points)
  • Code of Hermes tractatus Q11 (11 points)

I had asked for the Finesse Summa, at L7Q11 or L8Q11.

It does seem to me that having Tractatus is a really bad use of our initial points. Those are much more useful for well-developed maga. So I would not expect a starting covenant to spend resources on them.

I actually like having a number of L6Q21 and even L5Q15 Summa, as those will help us and later our apprentices get started with arts we have not learned (after all, we all need to learn all the arts to 5 in order not to penalize our apprentices.)

I would expect some number of better Summa. I am not sure what the right L/Q or arts for those are. A-priori I would want techniques first.

Another point is that the rules are pretty much written with financial valuation based on original work rather than copying- tracti are relatively easy to write, and thus cheap, making it generally ineffective cost wise to copy them, but they are expensive in terms of build points... but if everyone with an art over 5 writes one they can fill up quickly...

one thing we should consider collecting as time goes by if not at the beginning are commentaries by strong writers on the great book we have.

Yea, I was figuring we could write tracti to fill up the library. Because remember, if you write another summa, you're competing with all the other summae out there. But if you write a tractus, it always has value.

I apologize in advance that mine will have such a small value. (Average Com, no good teacher.)

As for the distribution of points in the books we have, I'll go along with what the rest of the troupe wants. I'm fairly agnostic about which direction we go.

Didn't remember who'd asked for it. But it is one of those books that push the envelope, which is why I took it out in libraries #2 and #3. I don't mind adding it back -- it's always good to have something for everyone.

L5Q15 and L6Q21 summas look good, until you realize that they also costs 20 and 27 bp. A Q15 tratactus gives you the same value as a L5Q15 summa if you're starting from a score of 0, while also providing value to any magus AND costing 5 bp less than the summa. And for the price of a L6Q21 summa you can get a pair of tractatus at Q13 and Q14.

Of course, there aren't that many high-quality (Q13 to Q15) tractatus going around, but Covenant describe tractatus with a quality around 14 as being "excellent", so a few Q15 would exist. They'd be in good demand, too, so I figured having a Q15 tractatus

So my analysis is that L5Q15 summae are great to have in the library, but very cost-inefficient when purchased from build points. L6Q21 summae are a bit better, but still quite expensive.

But in general, tractatus are much easier to acquire than good summae. Which is why I included some of them in sample libraries #2 and #3.

(BTW, for everyone who don't know about it, the plural form of "tractatus" is still "tractatus". It's one of those 4th declension Latin words which don't change when going plural.)

Ah, it's fourth declension. I thought it was first. Good on you for knowing that. It's been far too long since I took Latin in HS, and I don't think that 'tractatus' was ever a word we learned.

I just knew that it was "tractatus, tractatus" because it had been mentioned on the general board a while back (it's also mentioned in ArM5 p.165).

I simply dug up which declension it was before posting that comment. :mrgreen:

actually tracti can only get above 14 under the following conditions:
craft bonuses increase quality
resonant materials increase quality
written by a mythic figure with the mythic characteristic "prolific author" which allows a com of 6 for writing only

so exceedingly hard to come by is an understatement, and the rules for build points put the limit at 11.

Updating sample libraries #2 and #3 so that they no longer use tractatus above Q11.

id feel alotbetter with us usinf library 2 or 3...excellent work man

I'll wait a little bit to see the results of the livrary vote and will then adapt the 3 libraries based on those results. Then I propose that we have another vote to decide which one we go with. Would that work for everyone?

We could also do the vote on the type of library right away and I'll put the two votes together to propose a complete library.

What say you? One step at a time or all at once?

Lets give the discussion some more time to see if any other point distributions or models are suggested.

If we assume maximum points into the top four vote recievers that is 312+352=132 points- add to that the caveat that we acknowledge the importance of having a code of hermes document but are less certain about the need for a high quality code of hermes document and this will still leave us a lot of points for other books. At which point the next point is whether to concentrate the remaining points in books on topics which received 3 votes or spread them around for anything that got a vote, or that got 2 or more votes.

I''d say spread them around. Four subjects got 3 votes, and three more subjects got 2 votes. I don't think seven more subjects is too much. That leaves us with 11 total texts, which seems reasonable.