Maximilian of Verditius

Updating the Magi thread, without the highlighting.

I hate to be a butt, however hickory is errata'd out, as its actually an american plant not a european wood.

Good point, I'll make changes accordingly and remove that material from my list of those possible. Thanks! 8)

i play a verditus in my table top game or id have never noticed the switcheroo on it.

Questions for the storyguide: How easy is it to get access to stat-boosting rituals in this saga? What about lab texts of such rituals?

Considering Maximilian's low Stamina, this is certainly something that he would look at eventually. If lab texts aren't too hard to obtain, he might even ask Orion to invent a version attuned specifically to Maximilian, so that he does not get Warping from it. The basic spell to raise a characteristic by 1 (up to +1) is only level 40, so even if a lab text is hard to obtain it could still be invented from prime principles after 2 seasons (with his familiar and apprentice helping).

Lab texts tend to either be bundled with summae as an afterthought or left lying around their covenant of origin. You can put he word out but due to the low value the redcap network would not make it a priority unless you were offering an exceptional price for it. Finding someone to trade with directly at the next tribunal is your best bet for finding such texts.

Well, I seemed to remeber something in HoH:TL in the Mercere chapter about stat-boosting rituals not being circulated as much. Something about the Cult of Heroes using them a lot, too. I don't have the book with me, though, and in any case I was wondering if there would be any kind of restriction on acquiring such lab texts.

What would be considered an 'exceptional price' for lab texts? A pawn of raw vis? (As opposed to trading them for other lab texts) More?

Just trying to gauge how much access he would have, and if it is accessible, what the price for that is considered normal for this saga. Once I have an idea, Maximilian will probably approach Aureliano and/or Agapitus about it.

A pawn of vis for one lab text would certainly be exceptional.

And what would be a 'normal' price? I'm not necessarily in a hurry to get this done.

I just thought this might be an alternate service to be traded with Orion -- inventing a version of the ritual attuned to Maximilian.

Generally speaking lab texts would be traded level per level- or if you can pay in tokens ask for a season's worth of lab notes being copied for one token.

What about hiring someone to cast the standard (i.e. not customized in order to avoid warping) ritual for me? How eadu and expensive would that be?

I'm trying to evaluate the various options. These are:

  • Hiring someone to cast the standard ritual for me.
  • Obtain a lab text to either cast it myself or have smeone else develop a personalized version for me.

For any of these the same key part- finding the person to sell the lab notes/cast the spell will be the difficult part. It would probably take the better part of a season writing letters to find the person who has the spell you want.

Ok, starting to stat out the initial lab for Maximilian, which is being physically built by Alexander in early 1222 (spring) and outfitted by Maximilian in late 1222 (fall and winter).

As I mentioned, Maximilian wanted a Size +3 lab, which has twice to square footage as a standard lab (1000 vs 500). As far as I could determine, that was not a problem for Alexander. Although, wouldn't it mean it's a bit more efforts to build, so it would be ready later? That aside, here's what Maximilian's lab would be at the end of 1222, based on his specifications to Alexander.

Lab Virtues:

  • Spacious (Minor Structure Virtue, can be included right away if space permits) +2 Safety, +1 Aesthetics
  • Mountaintop (Free Structure Virtue, from the covenant's location) -1 Safety, +1 Upkeep, +2 Aesthetics, +2 Au
  • Superior Construction (Free Structure Virtue, from Alexander's skillful building) +1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics

Lab Flaws:

  • Empty (Free Structure Flaw, because Occupied Space is only +1) +1 Upkeep, -1 Aesthetics

Stats: Size +3 (Occupied Size +1), Refinement 0, General Quality 0, Upkeep +2, Safety +2, Warping 0, Health 0, Aesthetics +2

A standard lab costs 5 pounds of silver to build (already paid with the "lab in a box" option), but since this lab has an Upkeep score of +2 it costs 15 additional pounds to install (half the difference in build points, as per Covenants p.111). Since the yearly silver salary of only 6 pounds, Maximilian will asks for an advance of 9 pounds from the covenant in order to complete the lab in 1222.

As he will be using it only for a single season in 1223, the upkep cost for that year will only be 1.5 pounds, so half of the advance will be repaid that year.

Keep in mind the magnified bonus for superior construction due to ALexander's mad skills- it gives +7 safety and aesthetics instead of +1.

Are we going there again? I got the distinct impression that all the players who expressed their opinion on this found that multiplying the Superior Construction bonuses was not reasonable...

I was under the impression that most people agreed with it, once it was worked out and explained.

The impression I got was that many were unconfortable with it, but didn't want to fight about it. Since it was pretty interlaced with the power-level discussion, it kind of got pushed to the side and never explicitly resolved. I know that you raised the question on the general board -- my reading of that discussion was that there was a conscensus that lab virtues such as Superior Construction do not scale up.

I don't want to rehash the whole of it, nor start a protracted discussion again. My main point is that allowing it quickly leads to all kinds of abuse -- such as a scribe (built similarly to Alexander) who can add 7 to a tractatus' Quality he's copying simply because he's an extraordinary scribe, or a glassblower that provides a lab with Superior Equipment x7 (thus +7 General Quality, +7 Safety and +7 Vis Extraction).

I think Covenants is pretty clear on the fact that lab virtues and flaws, unless specifically mentioning it, cannot be taken more than once (p.113, second paragraph of "Laboratory Virtues and Flaws"). Similarly, p.88 states that a skilled artisan (scribe, illuminator and/or binder) adds 1 to a book's Quality if he has a Profession score of 6 or more (implying that it does not increase beyond that).

I know that you find that dissonant with what City and Guild implies regarding the quality of goods produced by a skilled craftsman.

But, like I said, I don't want to restart the whole discussion. So why don't we put it to a vote? I think there are three possibilities:

  • Quality of craftsmen can multiply bonuses (e.g. Alexander provides the labs with Superior Construction x7)
  • Quality of craftsmen only provides the stated bonus, no matter how good they are (e.g. Alexander gives Superior Construction to the labs, but only once)
  • Quality of craftsmen provide only the stated bonus, but when they are good enough it can provides some (small) additional bonuses (e.g. Alexander gives Superior Construction only once, but due to his great skill he also gives one additional bonus lab virtue for free, such as the Auspicious Shape, Gallery, Lesser Feature (approriate for a woodworker) or Well Insulated)

I will put it to a vote, but I'm coming up with more options than that, and will allow for multiple votes per person, I want to create a compete list before I put it to a vote. What I have so far is this:
+7 safety +7 aesthetics
+1 safety +7 aesthetics (because it still looks awesome)
+1 safety +1 aesthetics
+1 safety +1 aesthetics +5 He
Gives superior construction, idyllic surroundings with He specialization, and dedicated building without the upkeep increase
superior construction, dedicated building, then drop upkeep by 4 do to solid construction (net upkeep -3)
allow magi to choose a blend of the approved options

All of these (particularly the last) are essentially variations of either "virtue stacking" (first choice) or "some additional bonus" (third choice).

I would just note that dedicated buildings would move us away from the "manor house" concept and make the covenant much harder to defend -- not that we seem to be worrying about that, as we only have 2 fighting grogs described at the moment.

EDIT: Having too many choices just clouds the issue, IMHO.

It seems to me that the difference in opinion just above is between whether the poll includes the list of allowable options, or that is handled separately. I do like the idea of +1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics, and some small and reasonable set of additional options for us to choose from. That fits with the idea of the lab-in-a-box and our ability to tune it because the master is building each one for us individually.

Options that make sense (I am not at all sure how many should be allowed)
Larger size
Superior Construction
Solid Construction
He bonus
Extra Aestetics

Maybe we get points (3, 4, 5?) to split among those choices?