Mundane and Magic Theory

Hi everyone,

Will mundane be able to learn Magic Theory.
Why and Why not?

Sure they can learn magic theory.
Works a lot like us learning about Ars Magica magics. (Well, most of us anyways... There may be exeptions I don't know about...)

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Will at mundane with Magic Theory give full bonus as a laboratory assistant?

Can a Mundane with Magic Theory learn Magic Theory to Magi?

no - only gifted people can serve as lab assistants (other than as servants to clean up your mess, and that only gives a small bonus to safety). I imagine this is due to the need for a lab assistant to actually use magic, not just hand over lab supplies... Kinda like incorporal ghosts ain't much use in holding a line of soldiers, even if they know how to use weapons...

Sure - "Those who cannot do, teach."

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Does this also counts for the new rules in Covenants?

I think there is at servant Virtue, which grants at bonus equal to int/2 as General Quality.
If this Servant has Magic Theory, shouldn’t the bonus be ebual to (int + Magic Theory)/2

The servant wouldn't act as a lab assistant but take care of purely mundane tasks (e.g. cleaning), and can either be of some help or be a hindrance to the magus' work, regardless of whether those task really need doing or not.

Now, if you really want to give a bonus for MT, feel free to, but it severely devalues Gifted assistants, which are supposed to be rare.

Magic Theory is often studied by eccentric academicians, as a "theoretical pursuit".

Alchemists could also be quite knowledgeable in MT, regardless of their ability to produce any effects.

<insert generic fond reminiscences of 4th ed Alchemist Companions, sniff>


Buck up Hound, It's not impossible that we'll see the Hedge Magic book before this time next year.


I'm assuming that by "we" you mean "you"; by "see" you mean "in your mind"; and by "next year" you mean "time is an artificial construct created by the lesser part of our consciousness that is afraid to face the truth of the Criamon vision."

But I may be reading between the lines a bit much.

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Yeah, and I hear the Thieves' World magic system is coming out this summer. :wink:



I have to agree that having a servant contribute to your lab total with magic theory would compleatly devalue the idea of gifted people being rare. Besides thats what fail apprentices are for :laughing: .

(Sorry for my bad spelling)

I actually find ungifted lab assistants to be OK. Gifted lab assistants are a waste of gifted people. Unless you are using them while you treach them, that is.

Gifted people are the ones that can do. Ungifted lab assistants are the ones that point out potential mistakes, clean around and do other necessary stuff. Giving a bonus of Int+MT/5 (round down) can be perfectly fine for me. Maximum number of assistants = leadership of the magus. I cannot see how that would be unbalancing in normal sagas :slight_smile: (famous last words....)



Ungifted lab-assistants (called servants) add their int to the lab's safety rating (IIRC).

Having ungifted lab-assistants in your game provide a bonus to Lab total will result in far less use of apprentices (they use up too much valuable time, at best you get 45 seasons lab assistanse per 15 you put in, usually far less for far more).

Yes, plus.. don't forget you can just teach anyone you like MT.. in short, it'd mean every magus would have lab assistants .. and as ulf said.. why bother with apprentices?.. they -are- a lot of bother to teach and such, and you've taken away one of their handy bonuses :slight_smile:

IMS apprentices have been story material, not designed as giveaways sacrificial cannon fodder for the lab. I guess I will continue to see them there.

If cost-benefit was the only issue, I would not even consider having children of my own. Players tend to frivolize quite a bit about such issues, but IMS I have been surprised to find that magi set up families and get apprentices because of the story potential and because it is logical and cool for them to do so. That is unlikely to change even if I introduced this rule. I will not, but simply because we do not use lab customization rules et al. One of the magus have an igor-like assistant, but it is regarded as a playing/interpretation feature, not something we want to number crunch.

rant mode off



I think the major question regarding Mundanes and magic theory is not whether they can learn it (since it is required of scribes copying magical books they clearly can) but whether they can teach it or write books about it. If they are able to do so given the importance of magic theory towards greater magics (especially the vis usage limit in the lab) would suggest it would be advantageous to any covenant to have a mundane scholar who does nothing but study magic theory from texts, teach magic theory, and write books (especially tractatus) on the topic. Okay, he would probably spend some time studying teaching as well...

I see no reason to believe that mundanes cannot teach or write about magic theory. I have never seen anything in any sourcebook to suggest that magic theory is special in this way.

Thus in the absence of evidence to the contrary we will have to believe that magic theory behaves like any other ability of its type, and thus that anyone who can acquire a score in it can also teach it and write books about it according to the general rules for doing such.

If they are able to do so given the importance of magic theory towards greater magics [...] would suggest it would be advantageous to any covenant to have a mundane scholar who does nothing but study magic theory from texts, teach magic theory, and write books (especially tractatus) on the topic.

Lots of things are already advantageous for a covenant to have, even to a degree where any reasonable covenant wants it. That does not mean that all covenants actually have it nor that getting it is a priority over all the other desirable things for a covenant to have.


I'm sure there's a demon that could help you with that...

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