New "Laboratory"

Recent discussions about whether a lab was required to study from a text (my two pence: no, but it can help) made me wonder about labs that were specialized to only be used for one purpose, in this case, writing and copying books. Thus, submitted for your approval:

This well-lit room is dominated by a massive writing desk. Nearby sits a large wax tablet, which can be set into an impression on one leaf of the desk for clearer copying. An animated book stand hovers nearby, darting in whenever the scribe requires new materials, or to set aside his current manuscript.
Virtues and Flaws: Greater Feature (Desk; +3 Texts); Magic Item (The Bookstand of Hespera; +2 Texts); Basic; Greater Focus (Desk; +4 Texts); Missing Ingredients x5 (all 10 Forms)
Characteristics: Size 0, Refinement 0, General Quality -5, Upkeep -5, Safety 0, Warping 0, Health 0, Aesthetics 3
Specializations: Texts 9

This laboratory is mostly used by apprentices or scribes, as the Texts specialization adds +3 to their Profession: Scribe or Language when copying or writing Lab Texts and books. The scriptorium could be upgraded to a working laboratory simply by spending a season to remove the Basic flaw, and the necessary silver to replace the Missing Ingredients; the Focus would still be problematic, however. As it is the laboratory is kept intentionally understocked as it's not intended to be used for any purpose other than study. The main advantage of the lab's construction is that it requires no input from magi; it can be built in three seasons (1 for the lab, 2 for the Greater Focus) by any character with a Magic Theory of 3 or higher.

Two comments:

  1. This Laboratory would need to be designated as "transient" like the Laboratories of Bonisagus at Durenmar (HoH:TL) to be able to be used by any magu/apprentice without penalty.

  2. With a General Quality of -5, the actual bonus of the Specialisation is reduced to only +5 unfortunately, resulting in only a +1 to the Profession Scibe score and Langauge score of the scribe (need 3 full points of Lab Total bonus to translate into a +1 bonus on the Ability scores). This makes it a bit less useful, particularly as it would still need upkeep etc.


"If... a lab has a Refinement score of zero or less, or if the lab has a positive Refinement but was designed for transient use (as the spare labs at Durenmar are, for example), then the new owner may simply move in and begin work straight away."
[Covenants 118]

Since the scriptorium has 0 Refinement, anyone can use it; it would actually become much less useful if anyone were to improve it!

Also I can't say as I agree with your assessment of the effects of General Quality on the Texts specialization. General Quality specifically "has no effect on teaching or the scribing of texts".
Granted, a higher General Quality would allow for translating Lab Texts (which is what the Texts specialization was designed for), but this could be accomplished by simply spending a season to remove the Basic Flaw. I left it in because the scriptorium is intended to be used for mostly mundane purposes, but someone wanting to use this in their saga may feel otherwise.

Both in fact true.


Mental note to read full paragraph next time...

So this means a +3 bonus to the Ability scores. Reasonably impressive.