Do you allow multiple non-(lab total) lab activities in a season?
No, only one may be performed and it takes the season with no penalty allowed.
No, only one may be performed and it takes the season with a penalty to any applicable limit equal to the lab penalty for missed time.
No, only one may be performed but it only takes a day because only lab totals are penalized.
Yes, as long as the limit (such as MTx2 vis) covers the total, but it takes the full season.
Yes, as long as the limit (such as MTx2 vis) covers the total, but it takes the eason with a penalty to any applicable limit equal to the lab penalty for missed time.
Yes, as long as the limit (such as MTx2 vis) covers the total, and each takes only a day since there is no lab total to be penalized.
We use something totally different.
I know this has been brought up a little in a couple threads a long time ago. However, there doesn't seem to be a clear answer. So I figured a poll might help me gauge how people interpret the rules. Of course, reasons for views are appreciated, too. So, what do you allow for laboratory activities that do not have lab totals? The clearest example is fixing arcane connections, but there are other cases. And, completely attached to this, what do you do with missed time? For example, since fixing an arcane connection doesn't require a lab total, in theory you could spend one day on it and take the rest of the season as a massive penalty to your lab total.
Edit: Note, as ladyphoenix pointed out below, the third and sixth options should read "only takes a (season - 20 days)" instead of "only takes a day."
Multiple lab activities can be performed in a single season as long as they are of the same type, and generally of the same Arts. (Reinventing spells with a teacher in charge is the only exception I know to the Arts thing, but that's written into the activity explicitly.) There are several lab activities that do not use a lab total. The question is two-fold: 1) can multiple of these activities be done in a single season, and 2) does time away from the lab, which lowers the lab total, affect such an activity in the same way?
Consequence: if you do 2 same activities (even without labtotal) you haven't the time.
Consequence 2: if you have "used" your season by leaving your lab too long, you're done and have to compensate the lost time. Or even, you are totally done and have to restart. SG decision.
By the rules, You can miss up to 10 days from lab without penalty. You can miss up to 10 more but at a penalty of -2 to lab total per day. Over 20 missed and you can't do it. Keep in mind that means that if you will take a -20 to your lab total, you have 32 days free in the season (10 free, 10 at -2 per day and 12-13 days for the sabbath since it is only 6 day week)
Vis transfer takes a day so you could easily do a bunch of vis transfers while still doing other lab activity.
I susppose that thirty two days could be used for something else but I am not sure what.
I think what the post is trying to figure out is what to do with certain lab activities that don't have a lab total. For example, Items of Quality take a season, but have no required lab total. So the question is what is correct? 1. one season, one item. 2. one season, three items (canon gives one month as their example break from lab activities, so you extrapolate that one month is the smallest lab "unit of time"). 3. one season, as many items as you have vis for, up to ninety (one a day). I personally think 2 is correct, but it is very fuzzy.
I forgot about the beyond 10 days part. I should have written (1 season of work) - (20 days) instead of the single day part above had I remembered to write that part.
Yes, that's the fuzziness I'm trying to deal with. Our group goes with whatever the other limit is, but with penalties to that limit for missed time. The relevant things I can think of off-hand are fixing arcane connections (2xMT limit), attuning a talisman (no limit, but multiple clearly cannot be done), opening items (2xMT limit), and Items of Quality (2xMT limit). So, in our case, if you have MT 5 and are fixing arcane connections but miss 13 days, then you have a limit of 2x5-2x3=4 pawns of vis you can spend. So we would allow you to fix four arcane connections. However, I have no idea how typical or atypical this interpretation is.
I don't think I agree with the month of time unit. I'm pretty sure the text says it always takes the season because of how the astrological timing has to work properly. It's just that when things are easy enough you can do multiple at the same time. I think of it like baking: just because you really know what you're doing doesn't mean the cake bakes any faster, you just may be able to bake two cakes at the same time, while someone just figuring it out will only get one done.
I've always thought that spending a whole season fixing an arcane connection is a little drastic too. Here's a completely un-playtested suggestion for rules.
A character can attempt, in a single season, multiple lab activities that don't have lab totals (whether or not these activities are of the same type or related). However, each activity has a chance of failure: for each activity, roll an unmodified simple die against an Ease Factor equaling the number of lab activities being attempted that season to succeed. Any vis or mundane expenditures are incurred regardless of success or failure.
For example, Pertractatio ex Verditius elects to be a busybody this season: he tries to fix an Arcane Connection, attune an existing enchanted item to be his talisman, and turn a sword into an Item of Quality. His player rolls three simple dice, obtaining 3, 10, and 1. The Ease Factor is 3, since Pertractatio is attempting three lab activities this season. Therefore the Arcane Connection is successfully fixed and the talisman is successfully attuned, but the sword is not turned into an Item of Quality. Pertractatio still has to spend the pawn of Vim vis on the sword (as well as the pawn of Vim vis for fixing the Arcane Connection). Nothing else bad happens to the sword, since the failure is interpreted as saying that Pertractatio misjudged the astrological factors and couldn't find appropriate times to complete the Item of Quality (although, if it was the Arcane Connection fixing that had failed, the Arcane Connection would probably expire naturally).
Notice that attempting a single lab activity without a lab total always succeeds in this system, since a simple die always succeeds against an Ease Factor of 1. At the other extreme, attempting 11 or more such lab activities always ends in total failure, although attempting 10 such lab activities has a reasonable chance for at least one success (if you can afford all the failures!).
As for missing days: a character can still miss up to 10 days from the lab without penalty under this system as well. Every additional missed day adds 1 to the Ease Factor required. For example, if Pertractatio had missed 11 days of lab work, the Ease Factor would have been 4 rather than 3, so the Arcane Connection would not have been fixed; if he had missed 18 days, the Ease Factor would have been 11, so there would be no chance of success. Thus missing 20 days makes it impossible to accomplish even a single lab activity without a lab total.
I'd be interested in your reactions to this suggestion.
Why not the second option or the third option on the poll? I'm just wondering since that's still a season, just reflecting penalties for some interruption. 10 days off to 11 days off goes straight from all to nothing for these relatively simple tasks (sometimes states explicitly) while more complex tasks just take a -2 penalty?
I'm actually a little surprised you didn't say the third (with the correction from ladyphoenix to 1 season - 20 days, not a single day) is the correct one. That's the one that fits the rules as written the best. I put all the others up as possible interpretations of what was intended instead of what was written.
Because one day is not a season, and there is, in many cases, nothing for the second one to penalise.
Yes. They might be simple, but they take time. The same applies to all simple tasks, of course. The magus can do it in a season at a -20 penalty, so it goes from all to nothing at 20 to 21 days.
Well, the third with the correction is not the version on the poll. The third option on the poll is definitely wrong.
Season - 20 or season - 10 are both reasonable interpretations. The essential point is that it should be impossible to do any other seasonal activities at the same time, or to do more than one of these activities in a single season.