Summa Scores

Erik called me out for high Summa scores in my archmage thread. According to covenants sound summa have level+quality between 28 and 31. This would equate to a magus with a Com of +1, using resonate materials for a +1, with an art score of 40 giving a base of Level 20, Quality 8 (or more likely level 15, quality 13). A magus with arts of 40 and a communication of +3 could produce a text of Level 15, Quality 15. The maximum anybody is likely to see is around 35 (Com +5, Great Teacher +3, +1 resonate materials) - though story materials and clarification (if you don't mind the text turning to dust of taken out of the aura) can get this score up to around 37 (though I suspect clarified, story materials and +3 com with great teacher are more "common" for legendary texts).

So how common are specialists with really high arts scores. Part of that question is going to revolve around if lab safety subtracts botch dice from studying vis. If it does it becomes a lot safer to study from vis. Since I know a nice website that will convert excel tables to BBcode, I've run some numbers. These are for Aura 4, average role 6 (or average 10xp season), the same with an affinity (average 15xp season), and Aura 7 +role 6 + 3 free expression + affinity. To reach 40 in the minimum possible time, the first scenario requires an income of around 24 pawns of vis a year, the second 34 and the third 48. For studying from vis once a year the first scenario requires 6 pawns, the second 9 and the third 12. More than anything else, it seems like vis is the major limiter of high arts scores.

It is very possible for a magus to get an arts score of 40 by studying from vis for one season a year for 82 years. That would equate to a minimum age of at least 102, not impossible for senior magi. This would also indicate why most senior magi are always hungry for vis, it is the single greatest limiter to the advancement of their arts. Conclusion - you know under RAW treatise only cost one pawn of vis. An arts score of 40 is only 75 sound tracti away. (On the other hand the large library rules in Transforming Mythic Europe can act as a huge nerf to traci).

[table][tr][td]Level[/td][td]XP[/td][td]Vis cost[/td][td]Seasons 10[/td][td]Total Vis 10[/td][td]Seasons 15[/td][td]Total Vis 15[/td][td]Seasons 22[/td][td]Total Vis 22[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]2[/td][td]3[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]3[/td][td]6[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]4[/td][td]10[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5[/td][td]15[/td][td]1[/td][td]2[/td][td]2[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6[/td][td]21[/td][td]2[/td][td]3[/td][td]4[/td][td]2[/td][td]4[/td][td]1[/td][td]2[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7[/td][td]28[/td][td]2[/td][td]3[/td][td]4[/td][td]2[/td][td]4[/td][td]2[/td][td]6[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]8[/td][td]36[/td][td]2[/td][td]4[/td][td]6[/td][td]3[/td][td]6[/td][td]2[/td][td]4[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]9[/td][td]45[/td][td]2[/td][td]5[/td][td]8[/td][td]3[/td][td]6[/td][td]3[/td][td]8[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10[/td][td]55[/td][td]2[/td][td]6[/td][td]10[/td][td]4[/td][td]10[/td][td]3[/td][td]8[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11[/td][td]66[/td][td]3[/td][td]7[/td][td]13[/td][td]5[/td][td]13[/td][td]3[/td][td]10[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]12[/td][td]78[/td][td]3[/td][td]8[/td][td]16[/td][td]6[/td][td]16[/td][td]4[/td][td]16[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]13[/td][td]91[/td][td]3[/td][td]10[/td][td]22[/td][td]7[/td][td]19[/td][td]5[/td][td]19[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]14[/td][td]105[/td][td]3[/td][td]11[/td][td]25[/td][td]7[/td][td]22[/td][td]5[/td][td]22[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]15[/td][td]120[/td][td]3[/td][td]12[/td][td]28[/td][td]8[/td][td]28[/td][td]6[/td][td]28[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]16[/td][td]136[/td][td]4[/td][td]14[/td][td]36[/td][td]10[/td][td]36[/td][td]7[/td][td]32[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]17[/td][td]153[/td][td]4[/td][td]16[/td][td]44[/td][td]11[/td][td]40[/td][td]7[/td][td]36[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]18[/td][td]171[/td][td]4[/td][td]18[/td][td]52[/td][td]12[/td][td]48[/td][td]8[/td][td]48[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]19[/td][td]190[/td][td]4[/td][td]19[/td][td]56[/td][td]13[/td][td]56[/td][td]9[/td][td]56[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]20[/td][td]210[/td][td]4[/td][td]21[/td][td]64[/td][td]14[/td][td]60[/td][td]10[/td][td]60[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]21[/td][td]231[/td][td]5[/td][td]24[/td][td]79[/td][td]16[/td][td]74[/td][td]11[/td][td]69[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]22[/td][td]253[/td][td]5[/td][td]26[/td][td]89[/td][td]17[/td][td]84[/td][td]12[/td][td]84[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]23[/td][td]276[/td][td]5[/td][td]28[/td][td]99[/td][td]19[/td][td]99[/td][td]13[/td][td]94[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]24[/td][td]300[/td][td]5[/td][td]30[/td][td]109[/td][td]20[/td][td]104[/td][td]14[/td][td]104[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]25[/td][td]325[/td][td]5[/td][td]33[/td][td]124[/td][td]22[/td][td]119[/td][td]15[/td][td]114[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]26[/td][td]351[/td][td]6[/td][td]36[/td][td]142[/td][td]24[/td][td]136[/td][td]16[/td][td]130[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]27[/td][td]378[/td][td]6[/td][td]38[/td][td]154[/td][td]26[/td][td]154[/td][td]18[/td][td]154[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]28[/td][td]406[/td][td]6[/td][td]41[/td][td]172[/td][td]28[/td][td]166[/td][td]19[/td][td]160[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]29[/td][td]435[/td][td]6[/td][td]44[/td][td]190[/td][td]29[/td][td]178[/td][td]20[/td][td]178[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]30[/td][td]465[/td][td]6[/td][td]47[/td][td]208[/td][td]31[/td][td]202[/td][td]22[/td][td]202[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]31[/td][td]496[/td][td]7[/td][td]50[/td][td]229[/td][td]34[/td][td]229[/td][td]23[/td][td]215[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]32[/td][td]528[/td][td]7[/td][td]53[/td][td]250[/td][td]36[/td][td]243[/td][td]24[/td][td]236[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]33[/td][td]561[/td][td]7[/td][td]57[/td][td]278[/td][td]38[/td][td]264[/td][td]26[/td][td]264[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]34[/td][td]595[/td][td]7[/td][td]60[/td][td]299[/td][td]40[/td][td]292[/td][td]28[/td][td]292[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]35[/td][td]630[/td][td]7[/td][td]63[/td][td]320[/td][td]42[/td][td]313[/td][td]29[/td][td]306[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]36[/td][td]666[/td][td]8[/td][td]67[/td][td]352[/td][td]45[/td][td]344[/td][td]31[/td][td]336[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]37[/td][td]703[/td][td]8[/td][td]71[/td][td]384[/td][td]47[/td][td]368[/td][td]32[/td][td]360[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]38[/td][td]741[/td][td]8[/td][td]75[/td][td]416[/td][td]50[/td][td]408[/td][td]34[/td][td]400[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]39[/td][td]780[/td][td]8[/td][td]78[/td][td]440[/td][td]52[/td][td]432[/td][td]36[/td][td]432[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]40[/td][td]820[/td][td]8[/td][td]82[/td][td]472[/td][td]55[/td][td]464[/td][td]38[/td][td]456[/td][/tr][/table]

It's ridiculously easy for an arch mage to have art scores in high excess of 40 - especially if they have tracti.

There have been magi threads on this very subject over the years and it really is tricky to figure out "what is realistic" because everyone has different assumptions on what makes and breaks verisimilitude.

Having sat down and done the spreadsheets myself - I agree Art scores of 40 are very achievable at the bare minimum by any magus who bothers to put some basic effort in a specialty.

Not all Magi will - this is the tricky part. :wink:

So, what are the assumptions. Is he saving all of his vis early on to use it later for study and therefore not making items or buying things with his vis?
No apprentice? No LR?

To give everyone else a better idea of your assumptions, build a covenant from build points, set a power level and use the build points to build the library and vis sources necessary.

I vacillate on this. Study from vis is explicitly not a lab activity in the core book. The safety bonus applies to lab activities in the Covenants source book. Even if it is decided that the lab safety score does subtract botch dice from vis study, there's a lot of time spent on improving the lab for safety to avoid the botch dice.

Realistically this should be a generationally designed simulation.
First generation has no books or tracti to study from, but supposedly had vis in far greater abundance. Assuming they could freely study 3 seasons a year from vis, and that one person in that generation would have studied one art almost exclusively (and keeping in mind that longevity rituals would have been quite poor at his point) it is safe to calculate a generation one value of (aura 4-more abundant magical natural resources)+5 (average source value studying from vis) time 3 seasons a year, from age 24 to 50- times 26 years, gives 702 points of experience, gives a level 36, meaning the highest book would be level 18, with 7 tracti. The person who writes the highest is not likely to be the best writer, but others would probably have books at a lower level of greater quality, so figuring an average of quality 10 should suffice for the next generation.

Assuming poor parens with a 36 or less focused parens with a lower level, the standard of being allowed a max of level 10 following apprenticeship would fit. The next generation would start by reading books at quality 10 (average) for 4 season until you reach level 18, which is 171 points minus 55 (finish apprenticeship), or 11 seasons. If we are still tracking peak development that would mean level 18 at age 25, with longevity rituals available at about level 25, for a +5 to aging rules, which would mean age 100 is now reasonable. If we now assume studying from vis 2 seasons a year for 9 points per season this gives 75*18 or 1350 points added to the 171 points or level 54. Of course tracti can also substitute, which means by the second generation we have well exceeded level 40 as the peak condition.

Ok here are the maths for an autumn covenant:

[table][tr][td]Vis Income[/td][td]30 Pawns * 5 Magi * 5 Build Points[/td][td]750[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Tracti[/td][td]75 treatise * 15 arts[/td][td]1125[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Summa[/td][td]30 build point summas * 15 arts[/td][td]450[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Total[/td][td][/td][td]2325[/td][/tr][/table]

I'm not actually going to stat that up as it seems like a really boring covenant.

Though some more interesting ideas:
Fool's Rest
[table][tr][td]Aura * 5[/td][td]Healthy Feature *3[/td][td]Regio (Major)[/td][td]Wealth Minor[/td][td]Inhuman Covenfolk[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Monster[/td][td]Tribunal Border[/td][td]Indiscreet Resource (Piracy)[/td][td]Highly Mutable (Items not from the magic realm have a habit of becoming sentient)[/td][td]Hermetic Service[/td][td]Spies[/td][/tr][/table]

Fool's Rest is a retirement home for senior magi located in the Thebian tribunal (though might also fall into the Levant). The only requirements to join are a willingness to live in level 10 aura and a Parma high enough not to be turned to stone by the covenants patron. The covenants Patron as Stheno, one of the three Gorgon sisters from Greek Mythology. A might 50 creature, magic resistance of at least 50 (Terram) is required to avoid being turned to stone by looking at her. Unlike her sister Medusa, Stheno is immortal and cannot be easily killed. Magi are also cautioned that any items not brought from the magic realm are likely to have their spirits awakened while living in the aura. Wards are helpful. At least one accident prone magus's lab equipment has tried to defect to a new owner in recent memory. Thebes is particularly appealing to older magi who wish to retire as the Praecoship is not based on hermetic age, and the tribunal has access to large amounts of vis.

Build points
Vis Income 200 pawns / year = 1000 points
500 points in library, mostly tracti
250 points of magic items
500 points misc

No magic items?
No tractatus or summae on Abilities?
No enchanted items?
No labs already constructed, otherwise you need to account for them in build points.
The biggest missing item is no lab texts for spells.
When you begin to account for things that should be existent in a saga that PCs would join, when you think about taking a character you have through to getting to a score of 40 in an Art, and all of the trials and tribulations of that process, and think about when he would start is longevity ritual, make a talisman, train an apprentice, and write books, you start to see magi very different. Covenant service often requires some concession of the PC to the covenant, that delays his plans for ultimate power.
Is it 75 Q10 tractatus? That's 750 build points.

I don't think I've ever played in a saga that the covenant had every book it could ever need (15 30 build point summae) and your numbers on Tractatus appear wrong. No one is saying 30 bp summa can't exist, it is just a bit on the unrealistic side that all of the summae a covenant has are these masterpieces (because that's what they are).

Yes the number on tracti are wrong. I did 7515 instead of 7510*15. Sorry that is an opps. Still, all I was doing was showing that it was possible, numerically, to have 80 some odd tracti under current rules - not design out a full covenant. Given enough time, well motivated players can blow the top out off the build point system.

RAW says, full stop, that 30 BP Summae are standard sound texts. See Covenants page 94. Further, it makes sense that they are. The trade levels for quality rules mean that even Com +0 magi have a chance to write a well received summa. Having a familiar, apprentice and talisman is a sign of a mature magus. Writing a Summa is a sign of senior magus status. A senior magus takes about a year and writes a book on his favorite subject. After 500 years, most covenants can probably get 15/15 summas for the RAW 15 pawns of vis. Everyone admit they are valuable, but supply out stripes demand. A given sound summa might be worth 15 pawns of vis but I suspect it sells all of once a decade (though I could see some trading if you are looking to invoke the large library rules).

The interesting bit would be Tracti. Anybody can write a summa if they have a high enough arts score. Tracti writers actually have to be good writers. Copies of tracti can be traded for more tracti (usually not under cow and calf) or sold for a pawn of vis. A trained mundane scribe can copy about two tracti a year. A Hermetic writer with good teacher and +2 com could see book royalties of around 2 pawns per scribe the covenant employs. If the covenant requires its magi to spend a season a year working for it - there is a very good chance that he is going to be asked to write tracti (for trade or sale). For a character with a ten in each art - that's 30 tracti. I think there is a very good chance that you could get a large number of tracti together by trading. 70 tracti would take about 35 years of trading. The bigger problem might be the communications lag between covenants. Is a character willing to learn leap of homecoming and travel throughout Mythic Europe working on book trades?

Sure, if you want to play in a high or legendary powered saga, the numbers work. :wink:

Actually it doesn't say that, it says that these are "most of the summae traded within the Order."

Writing a summa of high level and high quality is a sign of a senior magus status. I've got a character who is going to write a L10Q10 summa as part of his covenant service. He's less than 5 years out of gauntlet.
You're mixing systems, to be frank. The price of a book acquired via purchase is completely different than one purchased as build points. If you're stating out a a covenant of a magus in order to progress him, it's a bit of a stretch to my sensibilities that the covenant all the Arts coverered with L15Q15 books. It just doesn't work for me. Sorry.

In your sample covenant, no one would be able to learn it quickly, as you're missing the lab text! And you have no ideas.
And, Leap of Homecoming may have requisites (depending on the saga). Assuming you can cover the requisites or your saga waves them, transporting large medieval books this way will warp them (the spell wasn't designed with a specific book in mind). You may not warp items, but I would definitely warp books, what being transported with this method of dissemination AND in light of the spell in Covenants Eternal Repetition in a Bottomless Pool.

I hardly think that an 100 year old magus is likely to be found in a covenant with only 300 build points. Is part of the problem here that you are coming from the basis of Spring covenant in a game that is going to last 12-20 in game years? According to the rules on page 5 of covenants, a 100+ year old magus would most likely be found in a medium to high power, if not legendary, covenant. It isn't so much where you start as where you end up.

Well then, it would behoove the players to go out into the world and do some trading now wouldn't it.

Um what are you talking about where? If you are talking about my stat out an archmagus thread, the covenant did not start with all L15Q15. Instead they had a magus die early on and put his share of the vis income into a convenant improvement fund. The fund was then used to purchase summa. The various buys are noted in the magus advancement data-but the data was not easy to read until I figured out how to export it in tabular format.

Also Veii may not be the most representative covenant. The covenant is located on the site of a former temple to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and started out with exceptional book boon. The Magi basically specialize in using travel magic to acquire books. They have one Magus (Arria) with a minor magical focus in travel who's season of service consists of putting together book trades. The covenant is deeply involved in trade and travel. Even their combat maga speaks six different languages. It looks like they will also be developing an unofficial fifth member who is a Sahir specializing in Solomonic Travel. When the covenants specialist in Arcadian travel died, house Mercere bid to have a gifted member join. The covenant spends 30 mythic pounds a year to acquire mundane texts. It employs two full time scribes, two illuminators, one bookbinder and a librarian. Veii is not yet a major book supplier to the order, but it could become one as it transitions from summer to autumn.

Here is the year by year development stats. Remember that I use an inverse notation of Quality/Level instead of the more common level/quality. If you're worried about lab texts just take a couple of tracti out of the undifferentiated pile and count each one as 300 levels of lab texts. I'd be careful, that really will blow the comparison between as advanced and point buy covenant right out of the water. Each tracti is only 11BP, 300 levels of spells (one season from a profession scribe 5 individual) is 60bp. I've been keeping stuff with Veii somewhat non-differentiated as 1. I don't want to put as much time into it as I would bookkeeping a covenant if I were actually running a game and 2. one of the characters I've already stated up in relation to Veii wants to collect a copy of every lab text in the order. If she ever joins Veii, I shudder at the bookkeeping that would be required to account for her collection.

Note, prior to 1118, I was not keeping all covenant data in a spreadsheet. Expenses indicate an unusual purchase. Also, vis extraction and Aegis are not being tracked.

[table][tr][td]Year[/td][td]Silver[/td][td]Surplus[/td][td]Expenses[/td][td]Vis[/td][td]Vis Income[/td][td]Expenses[/td][td]Tracti[/td][td]Tracti Created[/td][td]Purchases[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1113[/td][td]38.5[/td][td]38.5[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]2[/td][td]2[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1114[/td][td]77[/td][td]38.5[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]4[/td][td]2[/td][td]Creo 15/16[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1115[/td][td]109.5[/td][td]42.5[/td][td]-10[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]6[/td][td]2[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1116[/td][td]132[/td][td]42.5[/td][td]-20[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]8[/td][td]2[/td][td]Covenant Gains Food Preserving (T: Room) Item, possibly story – expired/warped food (or vis source)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1117[/td][td]159.5[/td][td]42.5[/td][td]-15[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]0[/td][td]10[/td][td]2[/td][td]Mu 17/14[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1118[/td][td]157[/td][td]22.5[/td][td]-25[/td][td]10[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]12[/td][td]2[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1119[/td][td]290[/td][td]153[/td][td]-20[/td][td]15[/td][td]10[/td][td]-5[/td][td]16[/td][td]4[/td][td]All of covenant gains magical heating. Income Source Upgrade: major story arch[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1120[/td][td]413[/td][td]153[/td][td]-30[/td][td]25[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]20[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1121[/td][td]546[/td][td]153[/td][td]-20[/td][td]20[/td][td]10[/td][td]-15[/td][td]24[/td][td]4[/td][td]Corpus 15/15[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1122[/td][td]679[/td][td]153[/td][td]-20[/td][td]8[/td][td]10[/td][td]-22[/td][td]28[/td][td]4[/td][td]Roots of the Arts In, Pe, Te, Vi, He 21/6. Other primers, Me, An 15/5.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1123[/td][td]312[/td][td]153[/td][td]-520[/td][td]18[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]32[/td][td]4[/td][td]Major silver “donation” to church.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1124[/td][td]426[/td][td]144[/td][td]-30[/td][td]28[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]36[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1125[/td][td]550[/td][td]144[/td][td]-20[/td][td]38[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]40[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1126[/td][td]674[/td][td]144[/td][td]-20[/td][td]48[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]44[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1127[/td][td]798[/td][td]144[/td][td]-20[/td][td]28[/td][td]10[/td][td]-30[/td][td]48[/td][td]4[/td][td]Terram 16/15 and Perdo 15/15.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1128[/td][td]919.5[/td][td]141.5[/td][td]-20[/td][td]28[/td][td]10[/td][td]-10[/td][td]52[/td][td]4[/td][td]All labs get magical lighting[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1129[/td][td]940.5[/td][td]51[/td][td]-30[/td][td]23[/td][td]10[/td][td]-15[/td][td]56[/td][td]4[/td][td]Gain 16/15 Mentem, Loss of regular income source[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1130[/td][td]961.5[/td][td]51[/td][td]-30[/td][td]33[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]60[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1131[/td][td]982.5[/td][td]51[/td][td]-30[/td][td]30[/td][td]10[/td][td]-13[/td][td]64[/td][td]4[/td][td]Wands casting Pilum of Fire[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1132[/td][td]1003.5[/td][td]51[/td][td]-30[/td][td]34[/td][td]10[/td][td]-6[/td][td]68[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1133[/td][td]994.5[/td][td]51[/td][td]-60[/td][td]44[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]72[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1134[/td][td]1040.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-30[/td][td]39[/td][td]10[/td][td]-15[/td][td]76[/td][td]4[/td][td]Intelligo 15/15, 2 Tracti allocated Parma Magica, gain minor income source (Winery)[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1135[/td][td]1036.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-80[/td][td]49[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]80[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1136[/td][td]1082.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-30[/td][td]59[/td][td]10[/td][td]0[/td][td]84[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1137[/td][td]913.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-245[/td][td]54[/td][td]10[/td][td]-15[/td][td]88[/td][td]4[/td][td]He 15/15, Purchase of approx 200 Saksrit texts[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1138[/td][td]959.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-30[/td][td]59[/td][td]10[/td][td]-5[/td][td]92[/td][td]4[/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1139[/td][td]735.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-300[/td][td]64[/td][td]10[/td][td]-5[/td][td]96[/td][td]4[/td][td]Adjustment to covenants silver supply to reflect purchases by others.[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]1140[/td][td]781.5[/td][td]76[/td][td]-30[/td][td]69[/td][td]10[/td][td]-5[/td][td]100[/td][td]4[/td][/tr][/table]

I'm going to want an apology for that, especially if you are talking about more than just the information on this thread.
As for sample covenants, which one are you talking about? I have Veii, where lab texts are lumped in with tracti under the heading of I'll sort this out later and Fool's Rest which has a pool of 500 undifferentiated build points (enough for 2500 levels of lab texts). There is also a partial exercise in working out how many build points would be needed to give each magus in a 5 magi covenant 30 pawns of vis a year, and looking at lab build point costs. That isn't a finished covenant, just some numbers pulled out of the book.

Actually the assumed house rules in my create an archmagus post stated that ReCo is considered flying very fast, unless it has either a finesse roll of reqs, in which case it's a teleport. One warping point is not one level of warping. Also, with a high enough rego score form reqs are less of an issue.

If you want to see a magus advanced to an art score of 40, check the create an archmagus thread in about 4 months when the year hits 1220.

Look at Andorra's wik. It is a covenant of similar power and looks a lot more organic, what one would expect of a covenant built up over time and not spun from whole cloth. Specifically the library.
andorra.wikidot.com/library

Regarding the lab text comment, your autumn covenant didn't have any lab texts. The part about no ideas, may have been a DYAC for items that I missed fixing. So, certainly, I apologize, the statement doesn't reflect what I thought it should.

I, aware that one warping point isn't a warping score. But then your 20% of the way to a minor flaw! Has the book been similarly moved? Could it already have warping points, cleverly hidden?

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A score of 40 is a pain to get but not unreasonable for a magus who is 150 years out of apprenticeship and has an affinity.

Your example with someone choosing vis study I find a bit unlikely as you'll need a great deal of vis at the end which implies a great number of botch dice even with t strong golden cord (Lab safety is a possible fix on this but as mentioned above studying from vis doesn't require a lab and lab safety is for me up there with lab warping scores for things that don't work in the laboratory personalization rules, I don't use it). But it could be done with tractatus (mostly vain)

When I did some characters to 120 years out of gauntlet I found that scores above 35 were not worth it. Once I could research a level 50 spell or effect fairly quickly the thought of putting 36 experience points into an art for such a small proportional increase in power really didn't appeal. It made more sense, even when the character was not trying to broaden their scope, to get more spells and effects (even higher level only slightly different versions of stuff that the character already knew/had), advance different compatible arts, learn more spell mastery, look in to a relevant mystery, and so on.

I'm going to throw some assumptions out here and create a ballpark estimate for how many really good art sumas have been created, certainly you could make different assumptions and come to a different conclusion.

First the total number of magi that have been in the order. The order has had around 650 magi as a mean of population through time.

Magi have had on average a mean hermetic lifetime of 80 years

The order is 450 years old

So I'm going to ballpark the number of magi ever at around 3600 magi.

Now about 1 in 3 lives to an age to write such a book

1 in 7 of these ever develops sufficient arts to write such a book

1 of 6 of these chooses to write an actual book

1 in 3 of these takes the effort to use creo rituals to raise his or her communication

This gives us 9 or 10 such books having been produced throughout history.

Now of these books I'd think that around half got left in obscurity because of greed, politics, and the cow and calf oath. That leaves us with around five sumas between all 15 arts.

Of course the numbers could be tweaked to supply a larger (or smaller) number of summa, but why would you want to do that? I think that in the question of what makes a fun game, I'd rather see most sumas top out quite a bit lower, requiring the characters search out more and more tractatus if they want to advance. Leaving room for an extraordinary suma to be valuable for a larger slice of advancement rather than just 2 levels after the typical summa is done.

What struck me about the summa in your archmaga thread was not that you had a great book but that you had a covenant with 12 really good or great summa.

My vision is that characters start with summa and in typical circumstances move to tractatus between art scores 8 and 12 (exceptions in the case of an extraordinary summa).

They then move on to trading for the handful really acclaimed tractatus that are very common in the art. After this they stick with tractati of variable quality because it isn't easy to know the quality of a tractaus in character the relevance of a book to you , the importance of the author historically, the authors allegiances backgrounds and opinions all sway the reader's impression of a book. Even if there were a hermetic book review magi could turn to, it would be of little veracity.

You can make a broad swath of book availability make sense in the setting. I think that a more restrictive take makes for a more fun game, power inflation can be a drag.

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For what it's worth, covenants says that there are 8 Branches of the Arts, "widely accepted as the finest works produced."
The Lion and the Lily indicates that one of theses is a terram summa of L17Q14.
Sdelear asserted that L15Q15 books were common, and that Covenants says this is so. Covenants says nothing about the quality or level of sound summae, though, merely that they should cost their level in vis for purchase, but that pricing these books is something of an art. Earlier covenants states that most of the summae traded in the Order have a quality of 31-level and 28-level. This range allows for high level summae, that someone not proficient in teaching or with a high communication would write a L20 Q8-11 range.
I guess I have something of a problem with that insert on page 94 of covenants. First, it outlines a theoretical maximum, that is yet unattained. Then it goes into there being a few summae that are clarified that has a quality of 35-level. And then the next category (quality ranges of 31-level and 28-level, is the one that is most commonly traded? The next category of quality ranges of 25-level skips a fair bit of quality range. Most notably the L6Q21 books that give you a score of 6 in one season, these aren't covered in any of the ranges listed above. The L5Q15 books are also skipped over, not even fitting into the vain category.

How many great authors are there in the order? Well, in my experience at least one per gaming group.

Thinking about it, perhaps the Order of Hermes is constructed in a way similar to other settings - things have reached a point where everything is about to shoot off, and perhaps a magical Singularity is about to occur. Think about it - in superhero games, there may be other heroes but somehow your mutants are about to save the world repeatedly and develop earthshaking powers, in lots of science fiction settings there's either some ludicrous new technology that somehow the players will get, or there's a collapse and you're the guys left holding the good stuff. It seems game designers like to set their games as Fortune's Wheel is about to take its most dramatic turns.

Looking to the history of the Order - it's clear Bonisagus had to deal with who he could get. He wanted to get the notorious Guorna the Fetid on-side, but her apprentices murdered her and he had to take them instead. Tremere the ReMe & certamen two-trick pony, and Flambeau the CrIg one-trick pony, may not have seemed like the stuff a mighty magical heritage is made of (and Guernicus could see this couldn't end well) but somehow Bonisagus' creation has lasted this long. The greatest works have been done by the Mystery Cults - Criamon and his followers created several paths to follow, Merinita laid down the path of Nature magic while Quendalon laid down a complete path of Faerie Magic in the following generation which took over his house, Bjornaer have created several ways to have inner heartbeasts, and Verditius have many mysteries and brotherhoods.

What's the size of the gaming group? And how often do they get their Arts scores up to 30 or 40? Getting to 30 is relatively "easy" but like Erik says, beyond 35 (and I could argue 30) it's probably more efficient to go for something else.

Looking at the magi writing these texts is important to get to an organic, could reasonably exist. Take a magus with an Art score of 40, to write the L15Q15 summa, assuming skilled professionals are employed needs some combination of Com+Good Teacher+ Resonances=4. If a magus with an Art score of 30 writes that L15Q15 summa, needs to have Com+Good Teacher +Resonances=9! If you effectively cap resonances at 2, that means you need a Com of 4. There is simply a lot of logistics requirements necessary to create these summae, even beyond the time commitment to write the text itself.

Of course most gaming groups are playing for the adventure, not for the prestige. And very few are multi-generational.

"Efficient" is a very vague notion. If you are a talented author (Good Teacher, and a good Com score) spending some 35 seasons raising your score from 30 to 40 in your specialty Art so as to write the finest Summa ever written on it (guaranteeing yourself both a place in Hermetic history, and a steady vis income for the rest of your days) seems a very reasonable strategy. At least, it models well what a lot of real-life scholars do. High art scores are very important if you are a certamen duelist, too.

All true. Is reasonable a good word? Yes, the character with Good Teacher and good com scores is probably going to pursue the score of 40 in the Art. Someone without those attributes may not be so inclined. Or maybe they would, because they see a lifelong payoff, of getting 20 pawns of vis for their L20Q10 book. Except, to get to that level with an Art score 40, you still have to have Com 3 or Good Teacher and Com 0, or sell L20Q9 copies of your magnum opus. The point is that the combination of all the logistics inherent to create a magus with the high Art score AND the communication capabilities necessary to write sound texts is pretty rare.

As has been stated before, there's a lot of variability in terms of what "reasonable" book scores are.

I think the controlling factor is not vis availability, since an organization one tenth the size of the Order could produce within one or two centuries enough books to allow any magus to study throughout his life from books alone. I think the controlling factors really are how the common high Communication scores are, and how common the Good Teacher Virtue is; and to a lesser extent, how "social" is the Order, both in terms of how widely traded books are and how important/coveted is having a reputation as a great author.

This is what we use in our sagas, and it seems to give values in fair accordance with what's in the books.
For any given characteristic we assume that only 1/5th of the population has a score of +1 or higher (or -1 or lower), and each additional +1 decreases the fraction by 4 or 5 times. In other words, the fraction of the population that has a score of at least:
+1 is 20%
+2 is 5%
+3 is 1%
+4 is 0.2%
+5 is 0.05%
We also assume that about 1 person in 20, among those with non-negative communication, is a Good Teacher. We believe this is somewhat on the "harsh" side compared to most sagas (and to most player character groups) but we feel it keeps player characters special.

Our evaluation of the number of magi that have lived in the Order by 1220 is somewhere in the 4000 range: an average lifetime of 120 years after gauntlet means roughly 10 new magi/year with a relatively stable population, or 4500+ from the Order's inception; however, the Order did not start as large, and there have been events such as the Schism War that have seriously impacted its population (on the other hand, early magi did not live as long, so there were more of them in a given time interval...). Unlike [strike]jonathan.link[/strike] Erik Tyrell, we assume that almost all magi who have a great talent for writing exercise it since it's a relatively easy way to wealth and social recognition.

Thus, the number of magi who have ever lived (and written) with a score Communication + Good Teacher score of at least:
+4 is about 48 (1.2% of 4000)
+5 is about 12 (0.3% of 4000)
+6 is about 2 (0.05% of 4000)
The +6 magi are legends. The +5 magi are famous. The +4 magi are well-known. Together, they have written the majority of the extant set of Art books of the Order: about 100 tractatus per Technique and about 70-80 per form, plus maybe a hundred summae or so (slightly more than two summae and two dozen tractatus/magus). Note that these (possibly in addition to a fair summa) are more than enough to bring the score of any magus beyond 40 in any given Art.

For the majority, if not the totality, of the Arts there was at least one author in this group who spent enough time studying that Art to write a summa of Level 17-20 (that means an Art score of 34-40, 595-820xp, some 60-80 seasons of study, or 40-55 with an affinity); these Summae are usually traded well scribed, well-illuminated, and well-bound with resonant materials, for a typical Quality of about 11 (3+4+1+1+1+1). Two or three more Summae in this range may have been written by Art specialists in the immediately lower echelon of Communication skills (Com +3, or Com 0 and Good Teacher, about 200 magi i.e. 5% of 4000): a +2 in an Art compensates a -1 in Communication for high Level, fair Quality summas. The high communication magi however are those who have written almost all the primers (because of the limit on how much one can raise Quality by lowering Level): a primer well scribed, well-illuminated, and well-bound with resonant materials, written by a magus with a Communication + Good Teacher score of +4 and an Art score of 32 can have Level 6 (32/2-10) and Quality 21 (11+10). For each Art, there are also another 3-4 summas at a Level in the 7-9, 10-12, 13-15 and possibly 16-18 ranges), plus a few more summas superceded by better, later ones but still quite good and important for historical reasons and for commentarii written on them.

We assume that almost each of these books is a) known and b) accessible, if at a price, throughout the Order. The cost of making copies is negligible compared to the value they can have to magi, so there's a strong incentive to spread them.

EDIT: Summarizing, this model (which is fairly "strict" in terms of prevalence of high Communication score / Good Teachers, but assumes Order-wide dissemination of texts) yields:
A "core" group of a few dozen authors having written the vast majority of the widely read Art texts in the Order.
About 100 Art summas and 1200/1300 tractatus by these authors, enough to raise any magus' Arts to 40+.
An average Quality+Level for these summas of 28-31
(including in many cases a resonant material bonus of +1).
An average Quality for these tractatus of 11 (including the occasional bonus from resonant materials, the work being a commentary or part of a florilegium etc.).

Where did I say this? As I said earlier in this thread, I've got a character who is going to produce a L10Q10 book just a few years out of gauntlet in his specialty. When he gets to the point, if he gets to the point of writing a L20Q10 summa, he'll do that, too. But between the two points is a long road to hoe, a lot of stuff to do that could derail his plans, writing a couple of tractatus (even as many tractatus as is possible) are things that will slow him down from getting to that L15Q15 or L20Q10 book.