Longevity Specialist Laboratory

Hi everyone, what sort of features or enchanted devices would you put into a laboratory for a longevity specialist?

Imagine that a major covenant has decided to recruit the best longevity person in the order, what sort of lab would they build for them? Assume that the covenant is willing to pay almost anything to be known as the best place to go for longevity. What could be inside such a lab.

Well, everything from covenants which gives a bonus to general quality, corpus, creo or longevity rituals. How about things that aren't in the book? What new features or enchanted devices could give a bonus to longevity?

I'll start by saying to take this with the appropriate amount of salt; my thoughts and how I articulate them may not always line up. I also may be way off base on some of this, so if I need to be corrected, please be nice about it. :slight_smile:

With that said, I think something you should look at having is a Figurine (see HoH TL page 33) that is imbued with Puissant Magic Theory. This alone will boost your MT by 2, which then in turn impacts your Lab Total. It doesn't seem like much, but you can have someone craft the Figurine for you while you are gathering the rest of whatever ingredients you need for the ritual. Or while you are stocking your lab with stuff to help you out.

The best part about Figurines is that, while the effects only last for a year, you aren't limited to having just one of them on you at a time. So, assuming you spend the effort to get 3 of them crafted for you - one per season for 3 seasons - you would have +6 to your MT through the Figurines during the fourth season, during which time you'd be performing the ritual itself. +6 to your Lab Total isn't, in my opinion, something to laugh at. I'd take that bonus all day every day, twice on Sundays.

Beyond that, you could look at Hermetic Architecture and/or Hermetic Geometry (TMRE). These may be Virtues, but the principles in them about aligning objects and enchanting entire structures to get benefits would apply. Heck, you could have someone craft a Figurine for you that is imbued with one of these due to them being Minor Virtues. You could then employ the effects of, say, The Perfected Tower (TMRE page 99; room bonus +6 affect everything within). Granted, that particular spell is for a larger structure that isn't necessarily a lab, but you could (if I understand the rules right) drop the size of the structure, thereby decreasing magnitude and overall level of the spell (and then, if my guess is right, cast it directly upon your lab). And the duration is Always On, so you don't even have to deal with recasting.

My point here is that enchanted items aren't the only way to go when stocking your lab for Longevity Rituals; there are all kinds of other things out there you can get to help you with your experimentation. :slight_smile:

I just read up on them, and each one only takes a month. If you make them from wax you can make all three in one season!

Not sure about this one - from reading about figurines I think that they only work on people, and things that apply to people. I can see nearly all SGs vetoing this idea.

Yes, you are completely right. I normally play a verditius, so enchanted devices is always my first thought.

Wax figurines only last for 6 months, so my first reaction is to use wood.

As far as architecture, you use the figurine to grant you the virtue, imbibing you with all the benefits of it.

There's the Blood of Medusa, referenced in The Sundered Eagle, p. 62, where 4 pawns of this extraordinary vis grants a +12 to a Longevity Ritual lab total.

It might sound obvious, but to achieve large labtot, teamwork of mage with high MT is required.
It is not that common to see mages collaborating because of the social stigma associated with the fact that one mage leads the other, thus is considered as their superior. They are some exceptions: when collaborating with your master or within Verditius (I believe - serf's parma) which are used to train each other as per their tradition.

So it means that one mage of this covenant should be acting as the laboratory leader, with a leadership of 3 or 4 (there is no theoretical limit to the maximum number of mage collaborating to a project, but I have a hard time seeing a dozen of mages working in a lab - it is just my perception though).
His apprentice (let say MT: +2, Int: +2) and his familiar (Int: +2, MT: +5 - being generous) do not count towards the limit of people collaborating to the labwork. So if you consider that the requestor (at least a +6, with also Int: +2 - since only senior mages would be able to puchase this service) collaborates plus a couple of other mages (each contributing to a +8). So just there, you have a +35 to your lab tot.
The lead mage himself should have Inventive Genius (for +3), an Int of +5 (considering the price of this service, he was able to pay for the appropriate intelligence boosting ritual), MT of +8 (+1 specialisation bonus), plus bonus from a periapt from Planetary magic (+3 or +4 depending on his Artes Liberales), another +20.
You will notice that I was conservative in my skill estimate of the participants relying more on books NPCs than optimised PCs with +10 in MT a few years out of apprenticeship :laughing: .

The cost of such Longevity ritual should be incredibly expensive as the mage is hiring effectively three relatively senior mages for this project.

Such covenant should have also all the features to help his members achieving such level of efficiency and collaboration. So Summae on MT of high quality should be present as well as Artes Liberales and a teacher (or a Summae if you consider it could exist) on leadership, probably the existence of a semi-secret Mystery cult and appropriate Initiation scrolls teaching specific virtues (Planetay Magic, Lesser Elixir, Hermetic Alchemy, Vulgar Alchemy, Greater Elixir). Consider also that people looking for potent Longevity potion might be interested in the Lesser Elixir mystery (another service that could offer the covenant for an even higher price).
The leader of the covenant could be indeed a mage who completed the Great Elixir and as payment is asking seasons from other mages to help him achieve high total in "Binding the Immortal Memory" or "The Immortal's Grimoire".

I did some dirty numbers, and a middling magus can do a longevity ritual of aroun lvl 60-70 without any special virtues.

So, add in the team, add a few virtues, and you have nearly 100.

Due to the size of a lab, I would guestimate around 1 person per 100 sq feet without causing any undue stress or complications, so for large teams, a larger lab is needed.
This is only my opinion, there may be something in the rules for or against it

Add in a few features and a focus, and the lab gives a bonus of +12 or so.

:bulb: Ooooh, there's an interesting question. Can each magus bring their familiar and apprentice for free? :question:

Interestingly, "middling" is a relative term. What's middling to your troupe might well not be middling to others.
Especially if you regularly can expect to have 10-15 years available to improve your lab.


If you break down these things that you think are easy to do, they actually become somewhat hard in an active saga in play.

I'll grant that you can certainly create characters with virtues that impact the Longevity Ritual, but that is an opportunity cost of not being able to do something else. You can spend a lot of time developing your lab, specializing it, but again, that's an opportunity cost, too. My current active characters in 13 years of play and 23 years of play have had exactly 4 seasons each to improve their lab. There's too much other stuff to do. Heck, one of them is a corpus specialist, the one 13 years out of gauntlet, and he can just now get an LR13, and a good portion of that is due to having to take an apprentice early.

Well, you would want to max your General Quality, of course. To do that, first thing you will want is a Familiar. Assuming the Familiar can be taught, and read books, and "Price is no object", a +15 to General Quality is quite easy. Then, Lab Focuses. You can have as many Greater Lab Foci in your lab as you can fit. So, a Sauna, a garden, maybe a bee hive, etc. Things that are "good for health" will give a +3 to Longevity Rituals, and other things will give a +3 to Creo, which, of course, will add to Longevity Rituals. Should be easy to come up with a list of 10 or more, and that's at least a +30 to Longevity Rituals. You will want to maximize Safety, which is easy to do as a group job. Extensive stores, Well Insulated, etc.

Then, to protect your "Investment", you will want to maximize the Health score for the lab. I have seen +9 in canon, and there should be some items to increase that as well. Maybe a +15 to the Health Score?

That's all the "canon" stuff. Now, in game, there is more you might be able to do. Can you find a Magic Bee Hive for your Greater Lab Focus? Well, that comes with a Greater Guardian (Bee King) and a Greater Horde (the bees), yes? Both of which add to Creo. There are a couple of lesser magic traditions that deal with aging, one or two of them would make fine lab assistants and perhaps Greater Lab Foci, yes?

Last, Magic Items for the Lab. Anything that adds to Creo, Corpus or Longevity Rituals will be a big help. I would try to get ones that add to Longevity Rituals, you get +1 for 10, as opposed to +1 for 20 (Going off of memory). Should be able to get between +10 to +20 total, again, going by "Price is pretty much no object".

So, using the Lab rules, a +60 to Longevity Rituals should be pretty easy, and a +80 should be possible.

By middling, I mean a magus who has Creo and Corpus around 20. Then add Magic Theory, Intelligence, Aura, Familiar, maybe an apprentice. All standard mage things without any real specialties or virtues.

The post you linked to is the "ideal" that the magus is aiming for, they are the projects he will be trying to work on. As always, the SG will be trying to drag him out of the lab.

It was just a random idea I had. Do you feel it breaks the flavor of the setting, the spirit of the game or the actual rules?

Can you remember where you saw this bonus? I am intrigued by it.

Thanks for some really good ideas, I will have to think about them.

With respect to assistance in the lab...

It's a "random idea" that I've spent more time pondering that I'd like to admit :wink:
I think it violates the rules. They are not on the explicit list of 'freebies'.

I could see an argument being made for the familiar of your helpers heing 'freebies', but I honestly don't think that having large numbers of animals in your lab is easy. Nor a number of young bumbling "helpers".
But mainly I don't think anyone who haven't spent so much time with you that they can practically predict your thoughts should be 'free' in the sense of not counting against the Leadership requirement. Perhaps because I did spend time in a lab.

You and Jonathan both raise good points. As I said, it was just a wild idea....

Now, what will be my next idea? :smiling_imp:

Ah, it was not in one spot, we just used the Covenant rules. By memory, +3 for Covenant location, +1 for Magus lifestyle, then the actual lab bonuses, +2, Magic Air, +1 Magic Heat, +2 Preserved. There are more lab virtues that add to Health in the Covenant book......... (And if you can figure out valid Lab Magic Items that would add to the Health Score, It could be MUCH higher!)

Glad You liked the ideas. Yeah, once I realized how unimportant Refinement is, as a rule, it really opened things up.

Adding Health to a lab, though, is more thematic than anything. The Health attribute of a lab doesn't have any impact on creating a longevity ritual.

Well, yes and no. Training up a new specialist because the old one died has a great deal of impact on those lab totals :wink:........ And after all the help one got from the Covenant, giving them the chance to profit from a secondary market is probably a good idea.

In the scheme of things, healthy feature doesn't appreciably add to the lifetime of the magus...

What rules you using? Under the lab rules, half of the "Health" statistic for labs is added to the living modifier for Aging rolls. If you managed (Probably you "stepped" into your apprentice.....) a +20 Health, that could be a -12 to your aging roll, with no Ritual! With a little care, that could be 40 or more years of life without the Warping the Ritual gives you, and once you get the Ritual, it still adds to the total modifier. That seems to be an appreciable increase in lifespan.............