[Table Talk] Build Your Covenant!

Yes, I'll get a "This is Lough Caillte" thread stickied sometime real soon probably this morning.

And I'll think about the "Scribe" or "Chronicler", or perhaps "The Bard" account with a shared password, etc.

Steve had a bout of overtime at work today (and all during the week), and the numbers for vis will be late. :frowning:


Many thanks to Kurt, who spent the time to create a spreadsheet with all the info on it. I've done some tweaking, but the totals should have remained the same...

Vis Stocks(175 points):
15 Creo
15 Intellego
15 Muto
15 Perdo
15 Rego
10 Animal
10 Aquam
10 Auram
10 Corpus
10 Herbam
10 Ignem
5 Imagonem
5 Mentem
10 Terram
20 Vim

Vis Sources (does not include extracting vim from the Aura):
4 - Herbam, Muto, or Creo (5 Trees in a magic regione drop thier petals on the night before midsummer - can be used either as Herbam, Creo, or Muto vis (one type only). However, the grove has other uses...)
4 - Terram (Slags and Dross from the smelting operation at the mine contain a small amount of terram vis, which has to be concentrated; this yields 4 pawns of terram vis)
4 - Corpus (???)
4 - Ignem (the clinkers from the local forges)
4 - Creo (Light falling onto a certain place (the altar of the church), on a certain day(easter sunday) crystallizes into a perfect crystal; The good fathers have always presented it to the covenant, in return for access to the mundane portion of the covenant's library)
3 - Perdo (Brackish water found in a pool near the barrows on Samhain)
3 - Herbam (Every so often, in the spring, a flower appearing to be made of pure gold blooms; It is worth a pawn of vis. Golden Acorns from a certain Oak tree are another, again, only a pawn. And last, one of the lily's in the covenant pond blossoms a particularly brilliant shade of blue. Again, worth one pawn)
3 - Intellego (perfectly clear crystals found in the fast running stream below Lough Caillte
3 - Animal (from a red fish found in the lake)
3 - Imaginem (Faerie Mushrooms, found in the wood)

And there we go.

Quick thing about the Vis sources; we don't have a source for Vim except through extraction. Vim is going to be important for the Aegis, and incredibly important for creating items (yes I'm being a touch selfish). As it stands we'll run out pretty quick.

For the Corpus I've used 'man' like mushrooms for different stories, as well as the suggestion in the Covenants book which had a hot spring that if you put a towel over it for shade, and people bathed in it regularly, the towel could have Corpus extracted each season.

Funny story about the mushrooms. The first real Ars game I ran was in Stonehenge, and when the PCs were searching for Vis they found that mushroom, just outside a tiny house, with a roof made of the soles of shoes. A little gnome came out and he agreed to trade the mushroom for the wizard's shoes. The wizard thought he'd be clever and tried making a spontaneous set of shoes that he saw right through. The gnome got mad and demanded everyone's shoes then, and so the wizard gave them their shoes and got the mushroom. The next morning the Covenant (which was so new most were sleeping outside, the wizards created a house through magic) woke to see the Grogs fighting amongst each other, and when the wizards tried to figure out what was wrong, discovered that the Grogs were all accusing each other of stealing their shoes. EVERYONE's shoes were gone, including the wizards. Stories from that point on often involved finding new shoes, as well as the Grogs getting to pick who of them got to wear the few shoes they managed to acquire.

Well, the Creo vis source could be made into a could be either/or source, of Creo or Vim; You choose which when you use it - this includes using a spell to transfer it to another container, or divide it up amongst several.

I actually like either/or vis sources.

And remember, I've got the "Hidden Resources" thing running in the background, too. Want vis sources? Write some up! Otherwise...

Go monster hunting! Trade/bargain/negotiate/steal! Etc.


Re: the vim source.

Personally, I think finding a new vim source would make for a fun adventure. As it stands, if we get 3 magi farming 1season each for the covenant as thier annual duty, then we can acumulate something like 9 to 12 pawns per annum. Our Aegis requres 6 (if I am remembering correctly) so that should be enough to cover until we do find that new vim source.

As for group project, sketch/write up a three or more vis sources for Steve and his hidden resources project. Write thos sources in a fashion that might lead to stories for players other than yourself. Steve, you cull though our submissions for the ones you want to run and then no one will know what hidden resources are out there until the are discovered.


Or, if we (the Players) are going to jump in on minor adventures right away, Steve can give us a feel for what sort of "total possible loot" we can give away for a poor/average/exceptional effort/success, and we can run our own vis-finding adventures for Rhiannon and others while our main SG is running the main adventure with some other (and/or same) magi/characters. So long as it is not potentially lethal (at least for "main characters"!), the time-line doesn't need to be maintained perfectly.

35 vis coming in yearly? Cool. But only 4 Terram right now- even with more than a dozen in stores, that limits our magical Towers to one (or 2 that are non-standard smaller?)


4 - Corpus - Covenant crypts, slow "salts" that drip and form stalactites, and these can be harvested. (Or something similar in a graveyard? Toadstools? Weeds? Some fruit-berring bush/tree that grows in the graveyard? Apple tree?)

We have no Vim source? No Rego? No Mentem? These (in that order?) seem like problems we should correct IC asap. (Whom has the covenant traded with for the Vim vis in years past?)

(Also- [color=blue]Consolidated Lab Texts Table )

:laughing: :laughing:

Found this on the 'net, as an example of how we don't want to occur as we build our tower(s).

[i] Life will be a lot simpler if your defenses aren't so obvious to mundane eyes. An illusion to make your castle look ruined and abandoned would do, but that'll need a few more rooks of Vis.[/i]

Peasant One: Oy, Cedric, there be a brand-new ruined castle in that there valley, there do.

Peasant Two: 'baint so, you 'as to 'av a proper castle before it be ruined, and weren't never a castle there afore.

Peasant One: Oi'm telling yer, it's there, I saw it with me own eyes Oi did.

Peasant Two: Mebbe we never noticed it afore, which is kind of funny seeing as how we'm been living here since before the conquest. Still, dressed stone could be useful, loike. Let's get the lads to go dismantle a bit for the new church.

Peasant One: Oi tried to go see what I could pinch and Oi couldn't get near it without coming all over queer loike.

Peasant Two: Aarh... must be witchcraft then.... fetch the pitchforks and torches lads, we'm got a mob to raise.

Yes, indeed, CH. A new ruined castle would be something the locals would talk about.

Someone needs to (a) explore the Hermetic Architecture Mysteries, and (b) make a major or hermetic breakthrough inside those Mysteries in order to create regios.

Hm. I wonder who might maybe possibly be interested in doing that?


Or we can create a castle in a big hole, then use a permanent imagonem effect to move the outside view to the windows. Whenever you look out of a window you will see fields and skies.

No-one will realise the castle is there unless they actually go above it, which only magi will be able to do.

Well, partly because we are not, yet, playing The Broken Covenant of Lost Lake!


Seriously, though. You can make quite a lab underground if you are willing to spend some vis. If you are a Terram specilaist it could be very benificial.


Heh, yup.

It was suggested by someone (Fluffy?) that we go underground- that could work for some (not IC for Daggin, not by preference anyway), but do we have any big Terrem magi (Rego? Perdo?) to do the excavation? (The Verdi's?)

Looks like we could go with 2 of the smaller spells (2 magi each) and about 12 vis, or one larger spell to house 3 magi for only 7 vis. (I like that one, myself.)

A "standard" 30x80 round tower (via Conjuring the Mystic Tower) = 56.5k cu' (not including foundations, 20' deep). With K's 5' thick walls, that's ~300 sq'/story, which is insufficient to house a proper lab on one floor! With 13.33' (4m) stories, that's 6 stories, with slightly short 12' ceilings* (and only a half-meter of material for flooring means timber floors!?) But regardless, that's only 1800 total sq ft of floorspace, plus the roof and any sub-basement. (* More than likely, the labs will have slightly taller ceilings, the living quarters shorter ones.)

Since afaik Conjuring The Mystic Tower isn't flexible re outer dimensions, only inner configuration, I think a new spell would need to be designed, tho' that might(?) only be 1 season for D. (CrTe Lab Total 70, but at least +7 to that for similar spell... could be tough. LT 53 for 2 seasons, but that might not be worth her time.)

If we keep the cubic volume, but drop that to only 2 stories (~28') high, we get a structure that's 40' (12m+) diameter internal (50'/15m external), for 1300cu' /story, or 2600' sq ft of space, almost 50% more than the tall tower (and a huge roof area if anyone has a use for it!). At 28', that's hardly imposing, but nor is it quite as secure as the taller versions, as there are far more windows, doors, etc on the ground level, and the roof lookouts not as advantageous.

(While I'm grinding numbers...)
A 3 story (42') tall tower would be about half the height of the original and about as tall as wide, with ~ 41' outside diameter, ~ 31' diameter interior (9m), or about ~775 sq'/story, or over 2300 total sq feet, better than the 80' but less than the 28' version.

The squat 2 story version is the least offensive to our neighbors, and has the most floorspace (1300x2) - 3 magi would fit nicely. The spell can divide the tower into "equal" partitions with stone walls (with or without connecting passages). Each mage would get a lab of about 500 sq ft (46 sq m), and a residence area of about half that, with one additional 250 sq ft grog/misc. room to be used as desired, (with the remaining area going to stairways, walls and such.) Of the three, at least one lab/residence pairing would need to be an upstairs/downstairs arrangement*. [i](* The 1300 sq' floors would be roughly as follows:

Floor A: 500 lab, 500 lab, 250 room
Floor B: 500 lab, 250 room, 250 room, 250 room

A/B could be either upstairs/ground floor, and any one of the 4 smaller rooms could be the guard/grog/utility room, depending on the desired overall layout.)[/i](If we used that to house only 2 magi, each could either take a floor, or split the "tower" in half vertically, and have double-sized labs of closer to 1000 sq ft (92 sq. m)

Whoever has Covenants- what is the target area for a "bonus lab", re spaciousness?)

(Of course, mundane construction does not suffer the "volume" restrictions of a 7th Magnitude CrTe ritual spell. Otoh, if Dierdre could produce an 8th level in the same lab time...)

Now, admittedly, that only covers 3 of the 4 magi who need labs. R. said she could use the Healer's lab for her longevity potion, and doesn't need a lab soon after that- maybe by the time she needs one, someone else will have built their own optimal personal lab? (see below)

Regardless, once we have everyone "inside" who needs to be, then if any wanted to build individual labs, they could via more mundane means at more leisure and to their own specifications, and as the spaces abandoned then either get expanded into by the magi remaining therein, or turned into "guest labs", or adapted to some other purpose.

For an extra magnitude, one could get 10x the current volume...

But do you really need it?

(Pi * 15 ft * 15 ft) * 100 ft = 70,650 cu ft. The spell allows for far more stone - 10,000 cubic yards, or 270,000 cu. ft, than is used in the tower itself, in one solid mass, let alone one that is essentially hollow. Even giving up some 25% for use as metal hardware (doors, hinges, latches, window frames - glass counts as stone), that's still a lot of wasted stone.

7,500 cu. yards = 202,500 cu ft. (with 92 cubic feet of base metal hardware - 2500 / 27 = approx. 92, base metal is created in cubic feet... That 19 TONS of Iron or Steel, or 23 tons of Bronze / Copper / Brass (and just for Abe, 11.5 tons of aluminum).

As to how fast D. could create a version that used all the material created... Since I'm trying to stay away from publicly displaying stats, especially for NPCs... If she doesn't experiment, It's 2 seasons (an easy 2 seasons). If she experiments, and rolls well, It could be one (it could also be none, or >BOOM!< as well...) Magi like Diedre don't live as long as she has by experimenting all the time.


Heh, there are old magi, and bold magi, but very few old, bold magi. 8)

I was only counting 80' as usable, as the rest is "foundation". However, if the tower is wider than tall, that's not as important as otherwise- but I think the spell is based on the volume of the thing, not the volume of the stone used to build the thing. That's the math, anyway.

However, the math is pretty clearly flawed, and I don't think it's mentioned in the errata.

The listed spell has +4 mags for size - that's a base of "1 cubic pace" (for stone), x 10^4th, or a total of 10,000 cu yards, or 270,000 cubic feet. The tower as listed (and with square sides, not round!) is 30x30x100, or 90k cubit feet - off by a factor of exactly x3. I think someone can't tell the diff between square yards and cubic yards, apparently.

If the spell was accurately described, it would be more than adequate at Level 35, 3 times the sizes listed above, and square (ie, even bigger!), not round. And if made at Level 30, would only be +4 size, or 1000 cu yards/27k cu', or maybe only 50' tall x 20 x 20, a classic stand-alone defensive tower of the period, often used as a last defense refuge for a non-fortified area.

(I like the 80' tower better.)

Hiya guys,
The base spell talks about Paces, not yards. A pace is about 2.5 ft, a Yard is 3ft.
10,000 cu pc comes out to 156,250 cu ft

A square tower would be 30 * 30 * 100 = 90,000 cu ft, gives nearly 1/2 towards furnishings of metal etc.

A circular tower would be pi * 15 * 15 * 100 = 70,600 cu ft, just over 1/2 goes towards the furnishings.

Due to the amounts involved, a version of the Mythic tower spell could be created to design a square tower of 39 * 39 * 100 ft, or a round tower of 44 ft diam by 100.
I just did some rough calculations and the square tower uses 65% of the stone created while the round one uses 77% (the rest being air). All in all, you can make the towers bigger if you want to take into account using only the stone provided, then putting it into a shape.

However, this talk isn't really getting us anywhere :wink:

Actually, a pace is one of those things that's hard to pin down, various sources list it as between 2.5 and 3 feet etc.

Ars seems to use it as 3 feet, an example of which is somewhere in the Aquam guidelines, where it has 5 paces == 15 feet

But yes, mystical tower does indeed have 200 cubic feet of leftover space

What this talk is doing is trying to figure out what another spell would get us, either another Lvl 35 or something 1 Mag bigger/smaller. Whether reverse-engineering the spells is actually possible is another matter.

I was thinking that a "pace" was equal to about a yard or meter, but not precisely defined so that both Metric meter and Anglo yard would work equally well. When the math fell right into that, it just seemed to make sense. And, Fluffy is right - at one point in Aquam, they do state that 5 paces = 15 feet (p 121, col i, last par in general Aquam section.)

But now that I think about it, that's just far too big. I'm tall (6'4"/193), and I don't take even a 2.5'/75cm stride unless I try (and then it's obvious that I'm "pacing something off". That, or doing a Monte Python "funny walk".)

A tower is mostly hollow- I don't think guessing the volume of the walls/structure/material alone is what they were looking for here. That would indeed become fuzzy.

The 30'x30'x100' tower (including foundation) is 90,000 cubic feet, and that tower is derived from a Hermetic volume of 10,000 cubic "paces" of stone. So, if 90,000 cubic feet = 10,000 cu paces, 1 cubic pace = 9 cubic feet, or 1 pace = ~2.08 feet (25"), or .63m. That's starting to make more sense.

The round 30' x 100' tower yields a "pace" of 1.92' (23"), or .58m. A "pace" is not tightly defined, so, a loosely defined value lying anywhere around 2' or 2/3 (.667) meter seems like a good, universally friendly number.

Maybe this is something we could toss out to David Chart, ask re errata?

(Also note that a pure Terram tower doesn't need many metal hinges, since there is no Requisite for any wooden doors/shutters/etc. More errata? :confused: )

Well, the issue has been pretty much settled :wink: For level 35 we can build a larger tower, or a house connected to a big tower. It would still take a season to design the spell, but we can make one.

Hmm, lets see, an empty tower for Corvus, a room with lots of south facing windows for Stephan. What kind of labs do other people need?

Qcipher, if Fabrica and Mathius can work out a deal involving the Smelter in Torstens lab, what sort of lab would Fab need?

We can probably do a single structure as a spell which would suit a couple of magi. The other labs could be built mundanely.

One could argue that the "+3 Elaborate Design" includes the herbam requisite for wood doors, floors, and such. Even with a pure terram tower, all your doors would be stone or metal, still needing hinges, latches, etc... unless one could use ReCo to teleport inside, or MuTe to open a hole, etc.

I'm looking at the "Standard Hermetic Lab & Sanctum" in Covenants; Wall thickness, if I'm reading the scale correctly, is 2 ft. So... 3.14 * (13 * 13) = 530.66, or just a little over 500 sq ft. Also, this includes living space (a bedroom, Privy, storeroom and antechamber).

Given that this is a mystic tower, I can deal with it.

Leave it to me do make much ado about nothing in particular... :confused:


(Well, you had some help going there. :blush: But it was an interesting exercise.)

Yeah, Xavi pointed that out in the forum thread, that The Tower spell was "perfect for lab space". I can live with that. (Does that imply one floor/magus, each magus living in their 500 sq' lab? Or 1 floor = 1 lab, and then living on the next?) Depending, we could squeeze 3 or 4 magi into one such tower, (or 6 if they claim 1 floor serves all purposes! But see below.)

The "+3" seems a bit much for the flexible design- and interior design only- you'd think you could change the outer dimensions for all that! While those could well be for Herbem req's (tho' make the spell harder to invent for some magi), a tower with 100% metallic (bronze/iron) doors and such work for me. Back in 3rd/4th, the spell could also be cast short-duration, and a solid defense makes sense- all things equal, why would any mage make the spell more complex to be behind oak doors when they could have iron, and walk on creaky wooden floors when they could have stone?

However, with the cannon spell, we get back to an 80' tower, and all the attendant problems with our Norman neighbors. Which, as Brutus mentions, means Dierdre designs a new spell, most likely (unless D has a smaller one???)

A level 35 could create something like the 2 story tower mentioned above, perhaps a bit larger (the foundation would not have to be as proportionately deep for a shorter, broader tower!). With only Terram, that would be quite secure, as we could have bronze doors and iron bars on the windows, etc etc. - nifty!

However, we get back to the question- since that would take Dierdre, a senior maga, 2 seasons for a ritual spell with very limited use, would it be "better" to go the mundane route? No need to explain the sudden appearance to questioning eyes, no use of vis, perfectly customizable and sizable, and we have a construction crew that can just keep working at least 3 seasons/year, either in the covenant, the town, or for whomever we choose.

I worry that this is asking a lot of D, and her character. Pretty generous of her time for a senior mage with other things to do. In that same time, we'd have a crew and a finished "manor house" type thing, or some sort of short tower, and another each season or so, one/magus eventually.

While "having the NPC do it" is faster and niftier (and easier for the PC's), I think that the work-crew might make a better story.

(Alternately, D, as the senior maga, might do it "on one condition...", and we, the junior magi, have to cowboy-up and do something for her/the covenant!)