More Research Questions

According to the main book(p 102), you can work on more than one project at once, and you get the extraordinary result for each spell. I have a couple questions on this.

First, if you roll discovery, do you reap the benefits multiple times? For example, suppose you were researching 3 spells by experimentation, and rolled a discovery, followed by "get 15 xp toward magic theory." Would you get 45 xp toward magic theory? Or 15?

(I don't have True Lineages on me, so I apologize if this is answered there:)
Second, if you were doing original research, and rolled a discovery. Would you gain the breakthrough points for each spell? If so, when you stabilize the discovery, do you take the warping points for each spell separately (I would think not)?

Thanks for your thoughts.

IMO no. Your work in the season is still collective (note that the separate projects still have to have significant portions in common IIRC). You make a single ('joint') discovery, so in your example above would get 15xp toward MT.
To look at the question in the opposite light, you didn't ask if you would have to suffer three sets of botches or botch checks...

IMO yes, you get breakthrough points for each spell when they are stabilised - the point being that you get the BT points of the collective magnitudes whether 'collective' is one spell or three. Whether you take the warping points individually for each spell or collectively at the combined magnitude is not clear at all and IMO makes little enough difference as to be a troupe decision. For example if you stabilised three spells that you worked on together (say lvl10, lvl15 and lvl20), then the difference between (2-DR)+(3-DR)+(4-DR) and 9-DR could go either way...


My interpretation was that you would apply whichever disaster you rolled to all three spells: three explosions... not good. Do you think this should not be the case?

When researching the three spells, on average you only take 1 warping point, where the single spell will net you 3.6, on average. It may only make a minor difference for three spells, but what about someone who wants to research nine magnitude 1 spells at once (like the Bonisagus in the book's example). He would be guaranteed no warping points. This would certainly encourage would-be researchers to break their projects into tiny pieces, and seems to remove the threat involved in original research. Thoughts?

I do think this should not be the case.
I don't find three separate explosions logical - there will be either one explosion at a time or three simultaneous (more or less) explosions . If one explosion at a time, then that first explosion may damage the lab enough to prevent any further work - thus negating the remaining explosions. If three simultaneous explosions then that would be similar enough to one explosion based on the cumulative power of the seasons lab work.
Alternatively, the three explosions are each independent of the power being worked with and accumulate to cause much greater damage. To me this doesn't make sense for the lab technician as it is saying that splitting a single experiment up into smaller simultaneous parts instead of a greater whole makes it more dangerous.

Besides which I think that this discussion is over analyzing a pretty abstract process! Who knows what is invoved exactly in the 'lab-time' involved in inventing an Ars Magica spell(s)???

True. I couldn't be bothered doing the math on the original example. OTOH, then one does end up with lots of rubbish little spells. And don't forget, the spells should relate to the targeted breakthrough somehow. In some cases that will rule out lots of small spells. There is also the fact of risk/reward. The breakthrough points are not the only factor involved here. There is also the invented spells themselves!
Then there is the storyguide discretion factor. You think a decent storyguide is going to say 'ok, you hit the magic number and have completed the breakthrough' when the experimentation has been all at tiny levels of power? Remember, the 'target number' of breakthrough points is supposed to be secret and at storyguide's discretion .
Third there is the honour of the thing. Many, though not every, Magi who attempt breakthroughs will (a) be Bonisagus, thus conscious of House Acclaim and peer approval, and (b) be interested in having their success (and the glory thereof) disseminated throughout the order (in description, if not necessarily mechanics). Few other magi are going to take a breakthrough seriously if all the research is piddling little stuff.
I can imagine it now, two elder magi sitting together during a break at tribunal and one says to the other 'Did you hear about that Simon f. Geraint s. Bonisagus? Word is he has invented a system of creating spells that do not warp their targets!" The other then snorts and says "Hah! I heard that it only works with first magnitude spells anyway - and they don't warp their targets very often now do they. What a schmuck!" They then proceed to shout down or heckle said Simon as he attempts to address the tribunal... :smiling_imp:

Right on. I'm just trying to get a handle on the rules, especially the extreme situations my players will inevitably cook up. I am certain I will see something like this happen in game. I was hoping for something canon, but this has been very informative.

There are spells that are decent to have at a low level, but in general, yes, I agree. I would rather have a few good level 20-35 spells than hundreds of level 5's.

I can see your point, but there is an example in the book where the (Bonisagus) researcher is specifically researching a bunch of level 5 detection spells; and he is working on a Hermetic breakthrough.