Table Talk - Development

I like this, it makes things easy, but also make sense. I do have a follow-on question. How do we deal with "source improving" virtues (ie. Book Learner, Independent Study, etc)?

In your example, let's assume the character has Book Learner. So are his options now to take the 13 xp from study (10Q summa plus BL) or 15 xp from adventure, of which he obviously take the 15 xp? Or, since part of his time was studying the summa, could he apply the Book Learner virtue to the 15 xp and have 18 xp (13 of which can be applied to Magic Theory)?

In the second option, the highest total would essentially be both adventure AND study xp, with either virute applying. The munchkin problem would come into play if a character had both Book Learner and Independent Study and stacked them.

I like it. I was initially concerned that it could be abused, especially with our new super-teachers, but the cap on adventure rewards of 5 xp per Art or Ability keeps it in check.

The first option makes the most sense to me.

The gain is still 15xp, but you can spend up to 13 on Magic Theory instead of only 10.

That makes the most's my one issue/concern, and it's really more of a gut feeling than something I can really put my finger on.

From what I've seen in my (very) limited Ars experience, studying summa or tractatus seems to almost always generate a higher source quality than adventure experience. This is I think one of the reasons that you often find people who would rather have their magus spend a season studying vice adventuring; the payoff (from an exp perspective) is greater. So the good thing about your rule is that it will encourage more magi adventuring while ensuring they still get the higher source quality. And I think that's awesome.

The potential problem I see is that it will make the Independent Study virtue less useful (perhaps almost worthless). While your example had the adventure source quality higher than the summa quality, I think practically it will usually be the other way around. So in almost any instance in which the magi is trying to maximize xp source quality (meaning they're not doing lab work) in a season where they have a short adventure they will also study a summa or tractatus (there's really no reason not to). In many (if not most cases) the study source quality will be higher than the adventure source quality. Thus Book Learner will be inherently better than Independent Study in many (if not most) instances where a magi undertakes a short adventure and doesn't conduct lab work (in the instance where they adventure and do lab work, then Idependent Study is clearly better).

As I said, this is really just a gut feeling more than something based off any hard data or statistical analysis. I coould be entirely wrong, it seems to happen fairly often to me when discussing Ars :stuck_out_tongue: .

Why don't you get extra XP?
Does Independent Study get a bonus to XP, while Book Learner doesn't?

Independent Study gives a +3 to adventure xp (and +2 to practice xp) and Book Learner gives a +3 to study xp.

In the example, the magus had Book Learner only. He has two POTENTIAL sources of xp, 15 from adventure or 10+3 from studying. Even with the +3 from Book Learner, the adventure xp is greater, so he chooses the 15 xp from adventure.

Ok, so you adventure for two weeks, and have Independent Study, Independent study adds to adventure experience (it's explicitly stated to be the source of the experience in the example), so you earn 18 xp for your work in Byzantium. You also had time to read a SQ 10 Summa on Magic Theory, and then spend 8 xp on other things.

Independent study in this example wins, because you add more xp, while Book Learner, as described only allows you to shift up to 3 xp around. So in games with lots of adventure, Independent Study is a clear winner.

Nobody in this saga has Independent Study, so I am not worried about it.
But if they did...
Magus with Book Learner and Independent Study, reads a Q10 Magic Theory Summa and has a Q115 Adventure. Book total is 13xp, adventure total is 18xp. Magus takes the higher amount, 18xp, being thus able to dedicate up to 13 towards Magic Theory and from 5 to 18 towards whatever the adventure involved.
Reverse it, Q12 book and Q10 adventure, totals of 15 and 13. Gain equals 15xp, up to 13 can be spent towards the adventure and from 2 to 15 on Magic Theory.

I tend to be generous with adventure xp, whereas others tend to be more conservative. The length of an adventure should certainly have an effect on how much XP it can generate as well. Short adventures should come in at around 5 or 10xp, long ones from 10 to 15 (maybe even 20 or so...).

Also note that very few characters have any study/xp boosting Virtues, and those that do have only one. So this is not an issue to worry about. Future "what if?" situations, yaddayaddayadda. We are full up on players for now and if we do have a new guy come along we will steer him away from stacking doubles like that.

Not true, Acutus has it.

If you plan to be generous with adventure xp, as you were with the Road to Pamplona adventure, then it's less of an issue. However, I spent some time typing this up in response to JL, so I don't want to jsut delete it :stuck_out_tongue:

It has been my (limited) experience that rarely does adventure xp surpass the source qualities that can be obtained with studying.

A cursory glance of the library for Andorra shows Art summas up to 16 source quality, with the worst I can find for any art being a 9. Even most of our skill summas look to be on the average of 10-11 (for those that have summas) By contrast, the book states that the source quality for adventures should be between 5-10. Now Marko has recently given us 12 xp for one adventure, so obviously he's setting a bit of a higher precedent for adventure source quality.

So, it seems to me that Book Learner would be superior most of the time. For example, let's say I go on an adventure and get the "maximum" 10 source quality. Wanting to maximize my xp gain for the season I decide to study from the highest source quality book I can find, in Andorra's case it would be the Level 15 Source Quality 16 Creo summa. Assuming no special virtues, I now have 16 xp, 10 of which can be spent on any skills or arts I used in the adventure, and the 6 leftover I get to add to Creo.

Now, in the above example, if I have Independent Study, I would still have 16 xp, but now I could use 13 on skills or arts used on the adventure, and the rest on Creo.

Whereas with Book Learner I would have 19 xp, 10 of which can be spent on any skills or arts I used in the adventure, and the 9 leftover I get to add to Creo.

Yeah, I forgot how awesome the book qualities are at Andorra. Book learner will trump adventure experience, by and large. It does kind of waste tractatus, if you divide the experience up in seasons where there's an adventure. Recapturing that experience not gained from a tractatus would be something to look at.

A character has an adventure that awards 10 xp, a book learner is reading a Q12 tractatus for 15 xp. He decides to allocate 10 of his xp to abilities, really only using 5xp from a tractatus. Technically, since he's read the tractatus it's wasted. This doesn't matter for summae so much. Probably an edge case.

It is not just Andorra. Quality books and high potential adventure XP are pretty standard in the Markoko universe. High Quality books are common in several sagas where I have been just a player. Roberto originates from basic RAW and advanced using the Novus Mane Library then the one at Mons Electi, two sagas created by other storyguides. The books tended to be very good, and advancement averages exceeded the 10xp/season I set as the standard here.
Where I mainly differ is the assignment of Adventure xp. I tend to go by a 5/10/15 standard; 5 or less for trivial adventures, 6 to 10 for moderate and/or involved experiences, and up to 15 or more for high adventure. The reason I granted 12xp for Pamplona (even though unfinished) is because it was so very involved and convoluted with several conspiracies being exposed and several hooks opened up for the future.

I see your gut feeling and raise you an opinion. 8) IMO, the adventure xp component of Independent Study isn't intended to be equivalent to Book Learner. Since you can't assign more than 5 adventure xp to any Art or Ability, Independent Study will (almost) always just give you 3 more adventure xp to put in something else. That component of the virtue isn't intended to maximize your season's xp in a single Art/Ability - it's intended to give you more xp that can be assigned to other Arts/Abilities so you get more xp to spread around adventures. You'll never get the same kind of payoff from that part of Independent Study that you will from Book Learner.

As for the practice component of Independent Study, that seems to be designed to give desperate characters a slightly less awful way to gain xp in whatever they want. :confused:

Spell mastery. 7 xp. If you have Flawless Magic it becomes 12 or 14 xp.

I stand corrected. I've never played a character who was heavy into Spell Mastery, so it's a blind spot for me.

Marko and I are both big proponents of spell mastery. Marko believes in fast casting offensively and you can do some very amazing things with the options.

Yeah, I've seen Carmen's multicasting in action and I know Roberto will be comparable. I just have a hard time focusing in on one or two spells when the system has so many options to choose from. I'd like to say I'm still adjusting to the system, but I was playing D&D wizards 25 years ago with spellbooks full of spells I never used. I think this is just who I am. :slight_smile:

I just thought of that Spell Mastery bit in bed this morning. Place the 2 exposure xp in Mastery when you invent it, then with a year of practice you have a Mastery Score of 3. Someone with Flawless Magic that does the same will have Mastery 4 in two seasons of practice.

In regards to splitting xp between adventures/study/etc: some virtues such as Book Learner and Independent Study modify the quality of that source. Others, such as an Affinity, modify the xp gain after they are spent on a trait.
Example: Magus with Book Learner reads a Q12 summa on Mentem, in which he has an affinity, and has a q12 adventure. The maximum gain is 15xp. He can spend 10xp in mentem (gaining 15) and take 2xp in something like Penetration from the adventure.

Related question to what I asked on another thread: do we advance our familiars/animal companions/magical animal companions season-by season the way we do our magi and companions?

I haven't been advancing Horus, but I note that Felicia is listed on the Companion page as taking an action each season. I'd hate to deprive myself of the full use of my familiar if I don't have to.

Your Familiar is supposed to advance alongside you and receives the full benefit from your teaching and full xp from adventures/stories along with you. It can also gain exposure xp from working in the lab with you, and for appropriate activities living along with you (like, if you are studying a book and the familiar hangs out with you / lives with you, it can gain 2xp exposure from daily covenant life.
It cannot benefit from any other source of experience (without applying the penalty for magic might).

Felecia is not a Familiar though, she is a Magic Animal Companion. So Silveroak, I think you may have made an error.