Roots and Branches of the Arts

"Covenants" has a great chapter on Libraries which greatly expands the role of books in the Order and in Covenants. And there's a very interesting bit where it mentions that "nine Arts" have well established books which get a reader to the level required to train an apprentice. And "eight Arts" have famous books written about them which are occasionally given as gifts to new Covenants by older ones.

But, much to my surprise, nowhere in the chapter are the Roots and Branches of the Arts listed, neither by title, by Art, or the specific game mechanics (Quality and Level). It is almost like a sidebar containing this critical info was left out.

I presume the information is available somewhere in a previous edition. Does anyone have a reference I can look up?

Nope, it isnt available. The specifics are left open and up to whoever is running a story.

Actually, I don't recall them being even mentioned in prior editions. I think the idea is that you can create your own Roots and Branches specific for your saga (though I personally think that's a lame idea).

I remember the Parma Fabula for 4th edition had a collection of books, a ready-made library. Could they be in there?

I created the basics of an Autumn Library based around those concepts a few years back. Its down to personal taste of what power level you run your saga's at, but heres one option for you, hope it helps....


Magical Library

Summa L6, Q21; Early Innovations, by Alexander ex Jerbiton
Summa L12, Q16; In Lieu of His Power, by Gerhard ex Tytalus
Summa L19, Q12; Beautiful Creations, by Florentia ex Mercere

Summa L6, Q21; To Begin Understandings, by Dimitri ex Bjournaer
Summa L14, Q16; Preconceptions, by Lucas ex Miscellanea
Summa L16, Q14; Knowledge and Responsibility, by Sofia ex Guernicus

Summa L6, Q21; Lessons of Childhood, by Josefine ex Mercere
Summa, L12, Q18; Inner Changes, by Phillip of Tytalus
Summa L17, Q11; The Ever Changing Art, by Finnaga ex Criamon

Summa L6 Q21; Beginnings of the End, by Apromor ex Flambeau
Summa L12, Q18; Essentials of Destruction, by Andrey ex Miscellanea
Summa L19, Q14; The Art of Death, by Caleb ex Jerbiton

Summa L6, Q21; The Crafting Art, by Gabor ex Verditius
Summa L12, Q18; Commanding the World, by Therese ex Tytalus
Summa L20, Q10; Absolute Control, by Giovanni ex Verditius

Summa L6, Q21; Wild Births, by Marcos ex Flambeau
Summa L13, Q18; Beasts of the Night, by Veronika ex Tremere
Summa L19, Q12; Animal at Heart, by Shona ex Bjournear

Summa L6, Q21; Rising Tides, by Adelaide ex Bonisagus
Summa L12, Q16; Mystical Seas, by Monique ex Merinita
Summa L20, Q10; Endless Oceans, by Adelaide ex Bonisagus

Summa L6, Q21; Spring Breeze, by Natalya ex Mercere
Summa L11, Q19; Soaring Winds, by Weston ex Verditius
Summa L18, Q12; Almighty Storms, by Kornel ex Miscelanea

Summa L6, Q21; The Most Familiar Art, by Brice ex Guernicus
Summa L11, Q18; Gracious Health, by Ferruccio ex Criamon
Summa L18, Q11; Life and Death, by Frederick ex Flambeau

Summa L6, Q21; Planting the Seeds, by Orban ex Tytalus
Summa L10, Q17; Distant Forests, by Filippus ex Bjournear
Summa L16, Q10; Mighty Oaks, by Tamas ex Bonisagus

Summa L6, Q21; Heating the Forge, by Jacobo ex Verditius
Summa, L10, Q20; Lighting the Way, by Ulisse ex Tremere
Summa, L16, Q12; Burning Truth, by Sebastian ex Tytalus

Summa L6, Q21; Crafting Beauty, by Naida ex Verditius
Summa L14: Q18; The Senses Opened, by Calanthe ex Bonisagus
Summa L19, Q11; Limitless Imagination, by Sophina ex Merinita

Summa, L6, Q21; Unveiling the Mind, by Sabus ex Bonisgus
Summa L12, Q16; Discerning Deceptions, by Dana ex Merinita
Summa L18, Q11; Your Greatest Weapon, by Cirino ex Tremere

Summa L6, Q21; Introduction of Stone, by Jacob ex Tremere
Summa L12, Q17; Building Mountains, Pavel ex Jerbiton
Summa L18, Q13; Depths of the Earth, Tyaine ex Guernicus

Summa L6, Q21; The Art of Magic, by Jonas ex Bjournear
Summa L13, Q17; Containing Power, by Werner ex Verditius
Summa L18, Q12; Essence of Magic, by Tomas ex Mercere

One of these books is mentioned in L&L (as a Tribunal possession).
In GotF, you have Durenmar's library.

If you have an author among your Magi it is probably best to not have her favorite art among those with an existing root (or a weak existing root) - writing the standard primer is a nice medium term goal.

No, it's original to Covenants.

It is undefined so that, if you want writing the definitive work on an Art as a goal for a PC, the NPC don't say "Sorry, we've already got one."

De Lapii, Summa Terram L18Q17 (L&L, 23)

Possibly non-conincidentally, there's a fantastic book on lapidary by an Iberian king that I'd love to get my hands on in English. It's either in that or The Book of Roger that we see a myth which, if you wanted to really push the idea, would make an American in which there are red skinned men in war canoes, in period.

Unless that rough translation I saw years ago was someone pulling my leg, which is entirely possible for such a strong claim.

Yoinked for my saga - if you don't mind? Thank you.


A collection of 15 Primer texts from my current chronicle.

On the Contemplation of the Divine
Mentem Summae L6 Q21
Oracle of Delphi
This 200 yr old text is one of the first authored by the Oracle. It examines the innate potential of mankind to aspire to divinty.

Imperceptible Perceptions
Imaginem Summae L5 Q15
Flavia of Merinita
This text compares and contrasts the methods that the fae use to generate illusions and provide steps and instruction that allow magi to replicate these feats.

The Soul of the Universe
Vim Summae L5 Q15
A collection of parables and allegorical stories that explains the interaction of Vim in all things.

Collected Teachings of the Druids of Stonehenge
Herbam Summae L5 Q15
Patrick Ex Miscellanea
Patrick Ex Miscellanea was marched for infernalism soon after this was published. Despite pressure from the Stonehenge Tribunal to have this text removed, House Mercere and Durenmar have persisted in copying and distributing this text.

The Humors of the Body
Corpus Summae L5 Q15
Micos of Durenmar
This 2nd volume published by Micos without restriction to Durenmar has led to him being given preferential access to the library.

The Quartet of Elements Vol 1-4
Aquam Summae L6 Q21
Aurum Summae L6 Q21
Ignem Summae L6 Q21
Terram Summae L6 Q21
Mephistos of Flambeau
A most weighty tome written by a noted elementalist.

The Animal Within
Animal Summae L5 Q15
Erik of Bjornaer
By requirement of the author this text is touched by no product of an animal taken before it's time. Consequently this copy is written in parchment and bound in wood panels.

Command and Control
Rego Summae L5 Q15
Tremere of House Trememe
This text was gifted to the library of Durenmar after the passing of the founder Tremere.

Death, Decay and Decrepitude
Perdo Summae L5 Q15
Temzin of House Tremere
Drawing from his experiences with the Mongols this text provides an unusually humorous read. Originally written on horseskin scrolls it has been republished by Durenmar.

The Universal Constant
Muto Summae L5 Q15
Micos of Durenmar
The 1st published book of Micos who has stated his intention to author improved versions of the Roots.

Micos should raise the Level to 6 on his future books, so that those who read his Roots and have Book Learner don't lose out on XP.

Good call on the Book Learner, Doc.

I like to think of the Roots as being Level 6, Quality 25 (e.g., written by someone with Com +3 and Good Teacher and an Art score of 38). That way even a copy that is hastily scribed and poorly scribed, bound, and illuminated* is still Quality 21. To me this helps explain a little how these Roots are "widely and cheaply available" within the Order.

  • here I'm using the extended Quality rules from Covenants

An interesting book for those is Level 8 Quality 18. Book Learner get 21 xp for level 6, Poor Students get 15 xp for level 5 and others can read it twice to level 8.

If Book Learner wasn't that good, I'd allow them to exceed the level of the summae by 1.

This is the 3rd generation of this saga. In previous saga's the roots started out as max 3-4 as that was the highest people could write of a quality to cap from 1 season.

Over games the roots have gotten better as the PC's and NPC's have been able to write better books.

As for Micos, he gets his stats to the minimum level he needs to get a L5/Q15, L6/Q21 or L7/Q28 and then writes and moves on.

Also I don't plan for everyone to have book learner, it's only one out of many virtues and even though it is good it should only be taken if it fits the character concept (IMO).

L7 Q 28 is pretty hard to reach. Possible, but hard. With Com + 5 and Good Teacher, you need an Art score of 42 to do it.

Micos is a lab rat.

Apt Student
Book Learner
Free Study
Good Teacher
Study Bonus

He's also got the Com +5 thanks to active trading of high quality tractatus for the lab texts and vis needed to get it.

He's also lucky enough to have a Longevity Specialist in the covenant who's keeping him stocked with a high quality longevity ritual (in return for Creo + Corpus tractatus).

That said I think he'll die before he gets to complete all of his texts, he's picking up a number of enemies by replacing their texts in the Roots with his own. I have a number of senior magi pissed off that he is stealing their reputation.