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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
The other question is points- do we all agree on the suggested 274 points out of 444 for the library? If we go with the extra 7 texts and 274 points that gives us an average of 20 points per remaining book, with a couple points left over. If we spend more points obviously we get better books- a level+quality of 20 is just north of discarded books... given our covenant's focus on books I think we should perhaps be willing to put more points into its books than 274...