Non-magical Breakthroughs

I've been thinking about possible breakthroughs in the mundane world of Ars Magica, and how they would influence the game mechanics; and was wondering if anyone else had similar thoughts.

Advanced Texts:
A major breakthrough in the understanding of the scribal arts, Advanced Texts are summae that have a minimum level for reading. By increasing this minimum level, the text can be made more dense, allowing students to reach higher levels of understanding through their study.

To create an advanced text calculate the quality and level of the Summae you would write as usual; then for every two levels by which you increase it's minimum proficiency (starting from 0) increase it's maximum by 1, to at most 3/4 of the Author's level.

Such a breakthrough would require a very prolific author, willing to experiment in the production of texts and go through the production of many barely-readable books before working out how to improve on them by using jargon and similar techniques.
A minor breakthrough along the way might apply this to only a subset of skills, for example Artes Liberales.

It's makes its meaning hard to get, but...

If you can make a L20Q15 summae, you could also make a L30Q15 (min20)... IIUC.

That's a munchkin's dream!

Its a writer's dream. Unless your idea of a munchkin is someone who spends significant resources on making sure other characters are more powerful, not sure why you would think that's a munchkins idea. It would take something like 5 seasons to write those two books. Sure he would be rich, but he would be rich anyway if he writes a branch of the art. Oh sure the munchkin could go on a quest to get that book, but a whole back of good commentaries could accomplish the same thing.

Yep, and that's assuming a really good communication (communication+language=10)

It's something that'd really make an impact over the course of centuries, but short term it would simply be a major claim to fame.

One area of mundane breakthroughs would be in experimental philosophy. Not sure if that counts as mundane enough though. Countless areas for breakthroughs. One cool tie in for magi is that some of these will help their magic as well. Here we go:
Standardized Formulas: With this an experimental philosopher learns a set of principals that does not need to repeatedly formulated when performing experimental philosophy. This eliminates the need for putting 5 experience points toward each formula.

Scientific Method: Rigorous logic and methods have been devised performing discovery and invention. When performing lab work allow you to add half your key ability again, or the whole key ability when experimenting. In addition any breakthrough points you gather also apply to fully integrating the result.

Statistical Methods: Numbers can give meaning and prediction to your results. It can be easy to determine if the new form of fire is hotter, but its harder to notice if your new cure actually is more effective. This gives you those tools. When performing experimentation you can add your key ability again. In addition when you complete a laboratory lab activity make an extra roll on the extraordinary results table. If it is a modified result or side effect the GM determines what it does and tell you. You may chose to use that result, but you do not have to. Furthermore anyone working from your lab text may include the side effect or modified effect if they wish.

Now the first one is sort of worthless too magi, but the other two? Magi would kill to have that taught to them.

While I'm extremely leery of the effect I chose, I'd want to use this particular thesis to do something with my holy philosopher-maga. (I already have a magical version of the breakthrough in mind.)

Angelist Philosophy
"Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow! Grow!"" -The Talmud.

An angelist understands that the natural philosophies of Plato and Aristotle merely touch on the surface accidents of the world's functioning, and that the uncounted servants of God are the true cause of the processes of the natural world. With this Breakthrough, a character may add their Dominion Lore to any Philosophiae total.

THat means that there are millions of small angels (and probably the same number of small demons) in the world. Maybe you can contact them using something similar to the Merinita faerie-creating mysteries, just that in your case you create/summon angels.

Really like this a lot on a whole lot of levels.

Generally, I think if we had a resource on what theories and conjectures about "the way the world really works" that were laughed at or hunted down in the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries in our real world, we could mine that for ideas for Mundane breakthrough in Mythic Europe. Sadly, I am not an historian and thus don't know of such a resource. Any thoughts out there?


If you wanted to weaken it you could make Dominion Lore and Philosophae one skill for them, Dominion Philosophae. They can learn this skill from people who teach either.