non-magicla labs

this has been raised, in a way, with the thread on using healthy labs for more general effects, but what happens if I have a non mage looking to have lab bonuses applied to certain activities? For example, I have a failed apprentice with magic theory 6, good teacher, puissant teaching, you get the idea- she wants to open up a classroom and get lab style benefits to her teaching. Can she create a dedicated lab, size 3 in one season, refine it, add a throne (+3 teaching), teach for a season, refine it again...
and after she has trained some scribes, cans he do the same thing again to create a scriptorium? Would the number of students have to add persons? Would servants need to be added to maintain safety or would that be irrelevant since there is no actual magical activities taking place? How does having 35 students (effective teaching skill 7) affect necessary size?

If I were doing a house rule on this (and it's a really interesting way to expand the lab customization rules into a broader use, so I just might), the important thing to me would be to avoid min/maxing the system too much. If the room is NOT A LAB, then penalties to Quality are irrelevant. A player should not be able to assign huge penalties to a particular activity which, in fact, the room will never be used for, because the owner of the room cannot perform that activity.

I think, once we remember that a flaw that isn't actually detrimental is worth no points, the system could work well.

In principle I agree with you, however the flaws and virtues of a lab also measure it's size...
which makes the greater focus flaw a bit confusing, since apparently installing, for example, a throne poorly (so that it distracts from general quality) somehow saves space in addition to increasing the effectiveness of the focal item...

The rules are a bit poorly designed in that sense. If you only want a lab for one purpose it pays to min max the hell out of it. A communal item factory, experimentation lab, or longevity clinic can all be done using the existing rules. At size 0, M.T. 3 you can add in: elementary, greater feature*2, lesser feature, greater focus, and lesser focus for a net of +8 to the desired activity. Depending on the purpose a pile of missing ingredients can shove the upkeep to -5, while still allowing for things like priceless ingredients or superior equipment/tools. (Also a net of +5 aesthetics so you would get instant fame.)

The Order has strong social mores opposing effectively doing this. The lab would probably be shared. It would be way to much time for a magi to spend perfecting a lab rarely used, so a mundane would need to be setting up the lab.

That said, the lab takes years to set up. I don't see a huge issue with allowing a good clinic to provide a living conditions modifier, or a university classroom providing a bonus to teaching. Hell, they bloody well should! Why the hell are you spending huge amounts of resources on them otherwise?

For mundane activities I might say that you can use architecture instead of magic theory. You always have elementary, and the appropriate focuses if you want to claim them. No negative safety allowed when all is said and done. Feature is probably the main quality. No nonsensical qualities to assist you. No leaving the "laboratory" half-done before using it.

I don't think its poorly installed. You made the whole lab revolve around it. Took out other equipment to focus on the quality. A Verdi might have a forge at the expense of not having a lot of other equipment most magi consider essential for a normal lab. The other equipment is designed to work well with the forge. That means the lab is uniquely suited to forging, but it sucks otherwise.

What I am looking at here (before refinement) is:
Greater focus (-3) throne (teaching +4, -2 general quality)
Gallery (+1) (+1 safety, +1 aesthetics, +1 teaching)
Elementry (-3) (-2 general quality, -3 upkeep)
Opulent (+1) (+1 upkeep, +1 health, +2 aesthetics, +1 teaching)
Palatial (+3) (+1 general quality, +3 upkeep, +2 health, +4 aesthetics, +2 teaching, +1 texts)

Max teaching: +10, base size:-1, upkeep:+2 3lbs/yr
Cheapest teaching: +5 base size:-5 upkeep:-3 0.3 lbs/yr

Now that should help churn out some impressive apprentices...

I must point out that Teaching (the lab specialization) is formally capped at +3. Still quite useful, but not +10 useful, alas......

Basically, you created an oppulent classroom. Nothing particularly special about it, right? I would envision it as a high school lab.


Coupled with Saxonous's point about the limit for Teaching being capped at +3, I'll also point out that Greater Focus requires a Greater Feature, as well.

Now, depending on how tightly you are reading the rules, (Or perhaps you are in a game where the powergamers have picked the good teacher, good student, oh so efficient combo) you could rationalize using magic in the lab (items or spells) to grant the virtues Good Teacher, and Good student (Going off of memory here), giving an effective bonus to teaching of +9, while still following the +3 to teaching rule (Certainly not it's spirit!).....

A magical being can have a power which allows it to grant good teacher or apt student for a period of time (until it withdraws it's might)
as for me, my teacher has good teacher, puissent teacher, great communication x2, teaching 5+2, which allows her to teach one on one for a total of 26 experience in a single season. The +3 from specialized teaching facilities will be quite welcome... especially with the larger classes which go from 20xp in a season to 23...

of course the scribe is at 5+2 scribe skill, which when we get the specialized scribe lab set up (3 years to establish) wit a +15 text bonus, giving effective +5 to scribe he can then copy texts at reduced quality (which still sells as a sound text at 1 vis/level) at a rate of 54 levels per season. Meanwhile the teacher is planning to teach new scribes and establish a book trade...