Reasonable costs for lab texts

Hello all

I've got a character with potent magic and one thing that has occurred to me is that his spells will be much more valuable in trade than non-potent versions. This led me to ponder how much more and I realised that I don't what a reasonable sum would be for any lab text, let alone how much more a potent version would be.

Is it covered in any of the books how much lab texts go for in vis or silver?

Or how much more valuable potent spells are?

every 7 years the Colentes Arcanorum circulates a folio comprised of tractatus and lab texts- favoring lab texts, for free.
a scribe with ability 5 can copy 300 levels of lab text in a season.
during the same time they can copy 11 levels of summae, which are generally sold for 1 pawn/level (assuming standard sound summae). Higher levels of scribe means 60 levels of lab text or 1 levels of summae per season extra- which implies by margin cost that 60 levels of lab texts would be worth 1 pawn.

Best consider your own saga, and its magi. What kind of Lab Texts would your sodales pay for at all? And how much?

I see very few sweet spots for Lab Texts, where a single text - even with a TMRE p.31 Potent Spell - can be sold several times.

  • Lab Texts that interest a specific maga are very much qualified by her Arts, Magic Theory, specialties and lab.
  • Lab Texts of general interest for the Order, because they contain Breakthroughs and/or discoveries, are likely to be distributed by the Colentes Arcanorum and get you recognition rather than vis.
  • Restricting your magus to Potent Spells also restricts him to his field, which in general interests only a small part of his sodales.

So my suggestion is to convince your troupe, and have your magus try to convince his sodales, that a specific Lab Text for a Potent Spell of his is that useful for many magi, independent of their Arts, Magic Theory, specialties and labs, that they are all willing to pay good vis for it.
And if you really wish to have a magus make income from Lab Texts, let him write them to order for specific customers found by the Redcaps.


Doctorconomics detailed this matter here for the HBO Saga. The conclusion is that it depends on the avaliability of the spell: 1 pawn for 75 levels of common spells, 15 levels of uncommon spells, or 1-5 level of rare or custom spells. I guess that potent versions would fit into the later categories, more expensive as the potent bonus increases.

In the case of this character, his potency is in necromancy so there's clearly a market out there, even if its not huge. While its likely that potent versions of the standard necromancy spells exist, potent custom necromancy spells might do well. Certainly a specialist market, so direct marketing to others with an interest in necromancy might be an idea.

With a decent magic theory, his potent spells currently have a +7 bonus.

I think one pawn per 5 levels might be a little expensive, but for specialist potent spells one pawn for 10 levels doesn't seem too outrageous.

So, as an example to my point above, your necromancer's current Potent Spells are only of interest for buyers with Magic Theory 7 or higher. Scratch potential customers like ArM5 p.34f Darius of Flambeau and AtD p.30f Monica Ierne of Tremere.


Considering that only mages with the Potent Magic virtue in the right field will be interested, I don't think these tractatus will fetch a higher price than normal one: smaller customer base, lower interest.
The other reason is the way this virtue is presented, it looks like people having the same virtue (with the same focus) will be part of the same Cult, so I am suspecting that the flow of information between members will be somewhat easier, thus unlikely that high price will be requested for such documents.

Better reread the entire chapter in TMRE once more.

So it is not as bad - but yes, the customer base is still restricted by interest and Ability requirements.


I use (Magnitude-1)[sup]2[/sup]/10 p.v.f., minimum 0.1 p.v.f. as a baseline if it's not a lesser enchanted device.
If it is a lesser enchanted device, I use (Magnitude+1)[sup]2[/sup]/10 p.v.f. as a baseline.

If it is such a limited buyer base then I would say it is more of a specialty item and the price comparison made earlier are a gestimet at best. Because the buyer base is so limited I would rather say it is up the GM to evaluate first of id the character is interested or not. Then how novel is the item and how mush effort / time do it take to make it for the mage them self.

I would set the amount of time to make it vs how mush raw Vis the character can make during that time and use that as a base price. The buyer can make 4 scrolls in a season and the buyer can make 4 raw Vis in a season the pries, if interested, should land on ~1 Vis. Because it is not my time that is important it is the buyers as it is a buyers market (you are selling to people who can make what you are selling). To me it is a equation of how much is my time worth. Personally I would pay for stuff that is either cheap / easy to make or things that are very time consuming to make (thus saving me time). The thing in between is more of a meh, might just do them myself, the resources might be worth more then my time at that point. But the NPC mages might have a completely different value matrix then me personally. =)

technically it should fall somewhere in the intersection of "costs less than doing it themselves" and "costs enough to be worth doing"
since scibes with magic theory do not need to have the Gift to copy lab texts, I am assuming that is where the intersection tends to fall...

Yes I fully agree, the actual price would vary from buyer to buyer.