Studying whilst Travelling

Hello everyone,
Assuming that you are travelling as a passenger in comfort (wagon, carriage, boat) are there any penalties to studying from a book?

Something that I've always been a little unclear on is if you need to use a lab to study on an Art. In the Loche Caillte saga my character is about to undertake a long voyage to Verdi (in comfort befitting his status). And I was planning to have him study from a book en-route.

Not that I have found. In fact one of my Verdi's studied on his trip to Verdi and we ruled that in my case it wasnt a full season of uninterrupted study for full value but 3/4 xp of the full study value. By ship in comfort on an undisturbed voyage you would take about a month to sail to the Med and land at Sardinia. Any devious SG could well have the voyage beset by storms and pirates which could detract from true study time. Up to you I'd say.

Well the RAW lists study as one of a number of advancement methods under Long Term Events, not under the section concerning Lab Activities, so whilst you may study in your lab (or even study your lab itself) study is not in itself a lab activity

You can do it on a boat
You could do it while you float
You can do it rain
Till the summae fry your brain

--Incantation of the 6th magnitude study prep spell by Seussius

In the Loche Caillte saga my character is about to undertake a long voyage to Verdi (in comfort befitting his status). And I was planning to have him study from a book en-route.

Travelling in a carriage at any real speed and studying should probably be penalised(no rubber wheels at the time, means you get a VERY bumpy ride), maybe halved XP gain or something, but going slowly(very slowly if anything but decent roads) by carriage or even on a very good and steady horse, mule or similar(this might be preferable to a wagon even as a steady riding animal led by someone else can be a quite "smooth" ride), or of course by ship as long as the weather isnt outright bad, should be ok studying like that.

You might of course be able to use magic to cancel out any penalties from a bumpy ride.

That would probably have to be rather a complicated spell i think.
Might be easier to levitate yourself and have someone or something pull you along... That would look... ah... somewhat eccentric perhaps?

I don't see why it needs to be particularly complicated.

Some kind of effect based around the ReMe lvl 4 guideline: "control a target's mental state", would maybe allow you to calmly study despite bumping around?

Alternatively, some sort of relatively trivial ReCo effect to stop you bumping around might work too --- ReCo 4 is "Control the large-scale physical movements of a target." "Stop bumping around" seems a good application of this?

Of course, if you study under the influence of such spells for a couple of seasons, you may gain warping effects due to being under constant effects.

If the study uses reading the slightest(and unless its with a teacher, ill bet it does), no it wont help at all.
Try reading while in even a modern car on a poor road.
Medieval wagons lacks rubber tires, suspension and shock absorbers and there will extremely rarely be any roads that doesnt make that problem worse still.

Its not for nothing that the stage coach buisness lost utterly to railroads. Level of comfort is zero. Unless you´re a poor rider, a horse is much more comfortable.

A calm mind wont help you read from a book that jumps around in front of your eyes all the time. What is needed is "the end of bumpiness" both for book and reader and relative to each other. And the spell(s) needs to react instantly, ie much faster than the magi has any chance of, which means complex triggers(up,down, left,right, forward, backwards, all relative to the wagon(unless you want to sit very still in the air while the wagon goes off with a big you-shaped hole in it))...

As i said, complicated. Exception is if its learning by teaching of course, that should be much easier even if not unhindered, but it also requires having a teacher travelling with you.
Practise might work for spell casting, with a successful concentration check for a few hundreds castings per day or something...
With a severly increased botch risk for every failed concentration check.

Considering some of the conditions for the virtue and flaw Study bonus/study requirement, I'm not sure the penalty should be heavy if any.

Fair enough; if that's what you think, and that works for your saga.

Personally, I feel that you are making things far too harsh and complicated --- which in my experience tends to discourage players from using spells in interesting ways, but YMMV.

Um ... yes it will. The difficulty in reading a shuggly book is in staying concentrated because of the extra effort involved. Likewise reading in a car or train rather than a comfy seat. True, the bumps here are worse, but then there's magic helping. Magic can do that. And you wouldn't need complex triggers on your spell. The spell isn't a reactive thing - a flight spell doesn't change your height when you go over a ditch. It just positions you so. Likewise, remaining fixed relative to the coach is trivial and removes all negative effects of the bumping. Add in a little aid to concentration and you're golden.

And yet you dont have to roll for botches whilst Mastering a spell which involves doing just that. I think you might be being a little too evil here.

IMS one of the magi has just learned leap of homecoming.

he makes a grog carry 2 items: one that makes a bell chime in his lab (1 use/day AC range) and an other that is just a piece of stone slate from his lab. When the grog reaches the destination he is heading for, makes the bell chime and the magus teleports there using the AC. The other magi in the covenant are starting that this saves them quite some substantial time to spend in the lab.

So yes it is useful.

In fact as alpha SG I am encouraging this development since the magi are starting to be too powerful to make on the road minor diversions really fun. Now, a group of 3 grogs and 12 companion facing the same dilemma (and not wanting to annoy the fuirebrand magi) might want to solve the problem themselves :slight_smile: it is working, so far uin the 2 adventures we have tested it.



Studying from Vis, quite true indeed.

Meh, im not GM since i suck at the story part.
Only if both GMs are uncertain how to rule something will i make a "direct input" as sort of assistant GM/rules tinker.

Eh, how are you going to read if you cant see the text?

Thats because in that case it doesnt NEED to.

Remaining totally fixed to the coach means you´re still getting bumped around. Ooops...?
Me wonders if you ever had the fun of driving in bad terrain, or travelling over not the best of roads... Ever tried going cross country in a tank or APC/IFV? Ever tried concentrating on something while doing so? And thats relatively SMOOTH rides compared to a medieval wagon, which totally lacks once again, suspension, tires or shock absorbers.

Well duh... Normal practise for mastering doesnt involve getting thrown around while practising.

Oh yes i might be too evil, however you´re way way to easygoing on it.

When did the text suddenly become invisible? If it's a matter of lighting then any apprentice can solve that with a spont.

No, it doesn't. If my seat moves up and I move up at exactly the same rate then neither I nor my book move relative to each other or the coach and I notice no change whatsoever. Any momentum change (such as there isn't, really, in Mythic Europe) is absorbed by the spell. And yes, I have read in cars going over rough terrain. It's irritating, but as long as you don't try to do anything else, the concentration required isn't arduous.

Making you move relative to the car is identical to applying a shock-absorber which minimises the car's vertical movement relative to you. Better, in fact, since it's perfect.

Well, I wouldn't allow research. Reading a book whilst using trivially simple magic to remove distractions doesn't seem too easy-going. The relaxed pace of travel does not, to my mind, equate to a stressful place to practise spells. There'd be distractions, and I can see why people might levy a penalty to the source quality quite fairly, but it's hardly a life-or-death affair where you're rushing things. If anything, you're forced to be more careful about it which would require you to consider the spell carefully and aid mastery.

I would say that being trhrown around AND casting the spell airless, or underwater, or while a herd of cows was charging at you.... all those weird, dangerous situations would be tested PRECISELY so you can cast the spell without even thinking about it and under the most bizarre of situations.



That wouldn't work in our saga. Leap of Homecoming allows instant transportation to a place to which you have an Arcane Connection. Your grog has the AC, not you. And even if you don't go in for the "Arcane Connections are one way" like we do, you still don't have an AC to the destination place.

Anyhow, your mileage clearly varies.


Boats would do fine, I can read easily as I speed along the IJsselmeer in a botter (a 1875 fishing boat without a keel) The IJsselmeer is a relatively shallow lake and as such has short bumps in its waves, making it harder than deeper water, still, no problems. Storms always make it harder, but that's just a penalty you have to take. Choosing the right season would do wonders in avoiding the heaviest storms however.

Yes, we use 2 way arcane connections. Law of sympathy IIRC (once together, always together). The "AC to destination place"... we use an AC to location where the AC is, but the AC can be movable. Maybe not RAW, but it has not caused major concerns here....

In fact, since all the RAW are optional guidelines to us, we do not have mch problems disregarding them if they find the change makes for a better saga :slight_smile: Not suitable for everybody, but it has worked for us for quite some time now.


If you go the 'flying lab' (or other flying transport) route with a ReTe item (and possibly a PeAu item to control the winds) you should be fine. Especially if someone else pilots.