Maximum Warping score for Labs?

Is ten the maximum warping score for a lab, or can it go higher?

I guess it doesn't have an upper limit.

But any lab with a warping of 4+ it's going to be pretty useless for spells or items, so beware of the virtues & flaws which give warping.

Useless? I wonder. Experimentation is a big part of many ARS campaigns, and I am thinking a "Warping" lab could be VERY helpful. Warping scores give personality traits, and aiming for one doesn't seem too hard. I am thinking of "a Personality Trait may be added to a Lab Total for an effect that matches it closely". Since flaws don't take (In canon) time to add to one's lab, I would think a +10 to one's lab score early in the game could be quite useful.......

I would disagree with useless. But I would also disagree about the utility you say of such Personality Traits.

Points about these Personality Traits:

  • You probably will never get a +10 value, more likely values totaling +10.
  • These Personality Traits only add to lab totals that match them well, at the SG's discretion.
  • These Personality Traits can similarly subtract from lab totals contrary to them at the SG's discretion
    So it is highly unlikely you'll ever get +10 to your lab total from Personality Traits, even with Warping 10. Of course, once you've reached Warping 10, feel free to keep adding more Warping, as, in answer to the original question, I don't see a limit.

However, Warping 10 is only a guarantee of a Side Effect (50%) or Modified Effect (50%), not a guarantee your work is totally ruined. More often Side Effect and Modified Effect are worse than better. But much of the time they're fairly neutral, sometimes genuinely nearly neutral and sometimes a small enough deviation it doesn't matter much to any magus willing to have this much Warping in the first place. So I would say the lab is far from useless, more guaranteed to be unpredictable.

Now, it should be remembered that adding lots of Flaws (if you're this willing to take Warping) gives you more room for Virtues, and those could provide you much larger bonuses than you might otherwise be able to pull off otherwise.

Well, the text says, "One or more", so I am thinking that you can stack that trait with a little work. Need to work with the ST on that one, I am sure.

But I am thinking that a personality trait of "Curious" would add to experimenting in the Lab. And a modified effect would be quite useful when trying to figure out certain things, like vastly rare Ancient Magics........

Yes, but also note the capitalization to identify a defined term and then reference it:

Some exceptions have shown that a Major Personality Flaw is commonly linked to a score beyond 3 but not usually beyond 6.

That's why I find it highly unlikely you'd get a single Personality Trait all the way to 10.

That would mean that you would have every effect either "sided" or "modified"... each season you work on it.

I don't know about your magi but in my saga they tend to spend several seasons working in high level effects. With 2 seasons of work there is only a 25% chance of any effect being not modified. With 4 seasons of work, the get-what-you-wanted chance drops to 6.25% (and you can expect a couple of side effects by that time, and stacking side effects are a living hell). I just can't see any reasonable magus using such a lab to enchant a Talisman or bond a Familiar. And I had seen pretty unreasonable magi (Merinita) dropping a lab with a Warping of just 4 (thus my personal private top warping safety level) after a handful of years of spending vis like a maniac to get always something that wasn't what he had in mind.

Well, maybe 'useless' wasn't the word. Let me change it with 'too random to be of practical use'.

The modified effect could be useful. But more probably it could be quite the opposite. And I don't know how can you guarantee that the personality trait you get is anything useful, like curious, at all. But even if you get a curious lab, the lab may pretty well be curious about other things, like, let's say, big loud explosions.

For important stuff like that, use a virgin lab. They're darn cheap to set up. Or improve your lab with none warping stuff, and add the warping later. But I am thinking Modified and Side Effects could be very useful when exploring the Limits Of Magic. Obviously I have failed to get that across, but that's what made me rethink Warping. Because, after all, every modified or side effect is possible to do with magic, or it wouldn't have happened, but some of those effects wouldn't be possible with current Hermetic Theory. Why NOT set up a lab for that "Whoops, Penicillin" moment?

Ah, so you have several labs! Then I don't have any concerns. In our saga we also use the many labs approach. We have some vis issues, so we have one small cramped one quite highly specialized in vis extraction that is used by a different magi each season, and my own magus maintains a mental lab to do his dirty tricks and a fake lab to keep appareances. We also have a failed apprentice specialized in lab building, so we don't have to spend too much magi time installing virtues & flaws (or they can harvest vis in the specialized lab in the meanwhile).

actually I'm imagining setting up a massively warped lab as an extra lab in the covenant- one nobody wants to claim but which might be occasionally usefull...

of course there are no rules limiting you to one lab per sanctum, if you can afford it.

One of the things that started this line of thinking was some of the things, in canon, that cause lab Warping are MASSIVELY useful/tempting. A lab haunted by the spirit of an ArchMagus? Wow the things you could do....... And there's another though brought up by this tread. I was thinking of the "personality" score mentioned as just something to flavor the warping, but a poster thought about it as a PERSONALITY. Just how much of a personality before your lab "awakes"? How much would a labrat pay to have their Lab as their Familiar?

That's actually doable: you just need to find a way to turn it into a Magic Thing, design it as a character by the RoP:M rules, which sounds quite fun, and then do some hermetic research to invent a Mistery Virtue to bond with it.

I'm not disagreeing with the quote, but no, that's far from the only way. I've designed a familiar/talisman via Spirit Familiar and a living corpse. I could do so without a special virtue as well with strong Animal magic. A talisman/lab shouldn't be hard to do. With enough maneuvering, I think you could to a familiar/talisman/lab. The ways I've found are all based around the notes in canon that dead things (skeletons, wood, etc.) can be enchanted as items (talisman/lab) and can be made to be familiars in different ways afterward (living corpse - spirit; bringing a dead animal back to life; etc.). An if you can enchant a living tree as an item, that makes it all the easier along with (Nature) Lore and Awakening. Enchant the tree as your talisman/lab, awaken it, and then bind it as your familiar.

Heck, I don't know that you would even need to invent a Mystery. You don't need one to make a Familiar out of an Awakened Device (Ancient Magic), and this does seem to be a route to discovering that Mystery......

I couldn't be! It was just the first thing that came to my mind. I'm doing a lot of magical beings lately, so magic things were my first thought.

Anyway I'm liking the idea that much that I'm planning using it: I'm thinking a story about a lost covenant for the magi to explore, where one lab became such a magic thing. The best part of it is that being a NPC I can aim quite high thinking in powers; it doesn't need to be balanced to fit as a magus familiar, but to act as an antagonist. It's going to be a nasty wicked lab.