If someone had reliable access to a particular location in the magic realm, what would be the effects of putting a lab there? some are obvious- aura 10, boundary modifiers for working with a particular art- but the inability to learn is where I am uncertain. Obviously this should be fine for enchanting or extracting vis (would vis extracted in the magic realm be automatically tuned to the related art, regardless of lacking virtues, or be vim?) but what about inventing spells? Can a spell be invented in a lab placed in the magic realm or not? Would it become a power instead of a spell?
I just re-read the bit on page 20 of RoP: Magic in an effort to know what I'm writing about.
I'd say go simple - Invent spells as normal, not powers - the character isn't spending xp don't worry about it. (give them their exposure xp in vis adjusted for any affinities, flawless magic or Secondary insight. Have them rework their virtues if they have elementalist though, elementalist doesn't work right )
As for extracting vis I'd say just vim vis although I think that most folks would do way better with a vim tractatus then with vis extraction.
I wouldnt see a problem with letting players get xp normally in the magic realm, or at least let them harvest vis from the boundary that they are in, and turn that vis into xp. I would make that vis an appropriate amount as compared with the general powerscale of the saga, though perhaps higher than is standard, since going through the effort of putting a lab in the magic realm should be a high reward endeavor (and high risk/high effort).
@Euphemism you can't gain xp in the magic realm, it's in the rules. You gain vis instead.
Vis which you can exchange for xp.
How would you exchange vis for xp? I mean you can study from vis but that takes a season...
Whoops my bad. It is virtues that you can exchange it for.
I would allow exchanging the vis for xp though.
That would kind of defeat the point of the rules.
However it does bring up another cheat- exchanging vis from earned xp for virtues that grant xp.
For eample, I spend a season in the magic realm studying a quality 11 tractatus I have not read before- first question is whether I can reread the tractatus later since I didn't learn anything from it.
The next thing is if I take those 11 vis and spend 10 of them on a minor virtue like educated, good parens, well traveled, which grants 50xp...
obviously the last can be simply disallowed by the SG, but the "improved abilities" quality would not be dependent on real world experience... although in principle that might rely on having a might score (see transformed being, if you get a might score of 0 this can still work, though it will take longer to get ahead)
I dont agree that allowing players to exchange vis gathered in the magic realm breaks the point of the rules.
Given that the premise of the thread is putting a laboratory in the magic realm I think that ability to gain xp while in the lab is almost a requirement, since gaining xp is a very central part of what a lab is. It also stands to reason that the character who put his lab in the magic realm has the ability to come and go as they please and to spend as much time there as they please. Assuming that the character will presumably be able to gain about 30 vis per year. They can stockpile this vis, but IMO the more likely scenario is that they will want to exchange it for virtues and for the removal of flaws. 30 vis is the equivalent of a major virtue and 20 vis allows you to "upgrade" your flaws to virtues a little at a time. Given that magi spend a lot of time in the lab the character will soon have no flaws and a host of virtues. IMO that is not a very desirable scenario, since the character can get rid of most of their flaws and give themselves a lot of really strong virtues, essentially it breaks the virtue/flaw economy. But currently doing so is the only reasonable use of the vis gained in the magic realm.
The character might additionally be able to harvest extra vis from nearby boundaries, so it is not like they are likely to starve for vis by "upgrading" themselves.
Then there is the issue of learning spells, would you say that a person in the magic realm can learn spells? Is the advancement? I am genuinely unsure how to rule here given the rules that are in RoP:M. Spells are treated like other forms of advancement in the core rulebook when it comes to advancing your character over time and I would say that learning a spell represents improvement and development, which is what RoP:M forbids.
In other words I think that given the presented rules having a lab in the magic realm is kind cool but not very useful since said lab will be unable to do most the things people want out of their labs.
I think it is worth considering that building a lab in the magic realm in the first place is a major achievement, in my view it should be considered on par with making a breakthrough that is really useful, integrating a useful hedge magic effect, Writing an authoritative summa of high level and quality or anything else that would put the character who achieves it on even ground with the archmagi of the order. It feels kind of flat if such a major achievement ends up being mostly inferior to not having made it.
So then the real question becomes how far you are willing to diverge from the published rules.
For me it would be necessary for this magic realm lab to:
Allow advancement somehow.
Not break the virtue/flaw economy.
You can solve this in a number of ways, for me the most straightforward is to allow vis gathered in the magic realm to be exchange for xp assuming that the vis is of a type that is appropriate to the exchange, e.g. Rego vis for leadership, aquam for Swim, whatever makes sense to you.
To be fair I wasn't even thinking about long term advancement rules, only seasonal activities in the lab. If you are talking long term then certainly they don't have to spend the time in the lab and can advance normally. It is the seasonal usage I am primarily thinking of, and in that case exchanging vis for xp seems completely counter to the spirit and the letter of the rules from ROP:M
Maybe there's something to be said about people who gained magic might through the alchemist hermetic mysteries having to enchant new spells into their talisman. Perhaps such strong association with the magic realm (like being in the magic realm instead of having a might score) makes researching spells difficult or impossible.
I'm just reading between the lines though and offer this as just a suggestion, not anything definitive or authoritative.