Summa: Quality and Level Question

There is a discussion in my group about gaining XP via Summae. How do you read gaining XP for Summae, p. 165?

Summae Source is Quality plus Level.

Summae Source is Quality.

Not asking about summmae being limited to level. That is clear.

The crux seems to be whether 'and' means 'plus' in the sentence 'Source and Quality.'

We have always taken it to mean

XP gained = Quality


XP gained = Quality +Level


Try going to the beginning of the chapter to see how it's suppose to be used:

That "and" isn't anywhere about experience. It's a note that there are two different statistics, not what those are used for.

The two career computer programmers are adamant that 'and' is additive, so that the Source Quality is Quality + Level.

The lawyer is less convinced, and uncommitted.

No one is advocating Quality alone.

Which edition of the book do you have? The 1st printing has relevant errata, I think.

Then, to put it quite bluntly, no one is advocating the correct method. There is nothing to suggest the programmers' interpretation unless...

Could it be you're reading a misprint and not the errata to correct the misprint at all? Here is what the Atlas site has:

For Summas there are two statistics. Only one of them, Source Quality, shows up in the formula for how much experience you get. The other, Level, caps how far you can get with that experience.

Also, if you check the back, the Source Quality does not use the level except for the "bonus," which is from how much the level was reduced from the author's maximum level. But the level itself never shows up there.

Additionally, consider that for the Quality+Level interpretation your programmers are putting forward the rules about lowering level of an Art Summa to raise Quality are absolutely nonsensical, indicating there must be a problem with your programmers' interpretation.

Tell them they're on crack. AND is not the additive, but the logical operator. The summa has the characteristics [Quality, Level], and if they insist that's the same as Quality+Level, I know why their code fails. :wink:

Bwahaha. Be glad you did not have to argue against the lawyer. Arguing against programmers at least follows logic not verbal trickery...Kidding aside:

The formula in question is in fact not a formula to calculate anything with, just a summation of characteristics of book types. There is no mention here of Study- or Source Quality, which is defined elsewhere.

Starts to say something
mumbles something incoherent
shakes head and walks away

Okay, since the name of lawyers is being blackened ( :stuck_out_tongue: ), I figured I'd jump in with a lawyerly interpretation.

We're looking at the interpretation of the language:

Source Quality and Level

if I understand correctly.

I think there's little doubt that any reasonable person would interpret this to mean that there are two statistics for any summa: "Source Quality" and "Level."

For judicial interpretation, we look first to the document itself. And the term "Source Quality" is used throughout the chapter (and, in fact, the whole book) as a single term of art. There is no reason given in the chapter why in this one case the term should be considered a single term, "Source Quality and Level." This is particulary true since throughout the book, summae are described as having two statistics: "Source Quality" and "Level." To interpret "Source Quality and Level" as a single term means that each summa would only have a single statistic ("Source Quality and Level"), which would run counter to everything written about summae in the core rulebook.

This is further supported by the very next line that says that the Summa Gain Limit is the Summa Level. If "Source Quality and Level" is a single statistic, then summae do not have a Summa Level, and the indication of Summa Gain Limit is meaningless. We always try and interpret laws or rules in ways that do not make parts of them meaningless. If there are two interpretation, one of which is consistent with the rest of the law, and one of which would render part of the law meaningless, we go with the interpretation that maintains all provisions of the law.

Further, we then go to what callen noted, i.e., that the portion at the beginning of the chapter that refers to your Advancement Total indicates that your Advancement Total is equal to Source Quality + Bonus from Virtues - penalty from Flaws. It makes no mention of any term called "Source Quality and Level." This is further evidence that "Source Quality" should be considered a term separate from "Level."

I'll also address part of your question which doesn't make sense to me. You ask whether Summa Source is "Quality" or whether Summa Source is "Quality plus level." But "Source" is not a term of art with respect to Summae. Nowhere in the rules that I'm aware of do they ever refer to a summa as having a "Source." They always refer to each summa (or any other book) having a "Source Quality." So I'm uncertain as to what you mean when you refer to a book as having a "Source." Books in ARM5 don't have a Source, they have a Source Quality. [sup]1[/sup]

In the end, the only reasonable interpretation that is consistent with the rest of the rules is that the terms "Source Quality" and "Level" should be considered separate terms, and that when the rules refer to "Summa Statistics" as including Source Quality and Level then mean "Source Quality" and "Level" as separate statistics. Any other interpretation is unsupported by the rules, and actually runs counter to what is disclosed elsewhere in the rules.

[sup]1[/sup] - I think this paragraph highlights the heart of the confusion. (Sorry, had to get a footnote in.)

I shall pass along these thoughts to the programmers and lawyers next session. We're unlikely to backtrack.

I've thought we were being more generous on summae than the rules indicated, but in the interest of getting the magi to burn through their study resources so they would GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING, I have no objection to it. It's just that the lawyer noticed.

cough Story Flaws Hooks

IMO, this is one reason why tractatus are overpriced (bps) and summary are underpriced (bps, vis cost acquisition)

I think there is nobody else on the forum that interprets the rules for Summa other than:
When you study a from a Summa, you gain xp equal to its Quality every season (modified by appropriate Virtues and Flaws etc.); but your xp total cannot increase above the minimum required to have an Art score equal to the Summa's level.

So: xp gain = Quality. This is often already extremely generous.

I would also point out that interpreting xp gain = Quality + Level makes it virtually pointless to write a Summa below the maximum level one can write - since every point in Level you sacrifice yields a one-point increase in Quality and thus would produce no increase in the seasonal xp yield of the Summa.