The Best a Book Can Be?

Alright. I'll fess up...

The formulae for Summa in Covenants confuses me a bit. I'm trying to put together the "Panopticon of Caecilius" - the big Intellego tome won at the Durenmar contest in my Saga.

It's going to have 2 points of resonances.
I'm going to say Caecilius is a 4 Communication mage, with Good Teacher. He's an archmage at a VIP covenant, so he gets to splurge on the good stuff: Scribe, bookbinder, illuminator.

But the level of the art written to hurts my brain. Assuming he's got a 40 Intellego (is this a legitimate level of art for a guy of Caecilius' age? Seems so with Puissant Intellego and some study related virtues), what should he end up with?

Let me see:

Comm +4, +3 mandatory, +3 for professional book folks, +2 for resonances, +3 for Good Teacher. Baseline 15 Quality.

The maximum quality bonus due to writing below half your Art's level is: +13 times 2= 26

So, would the Quality for a level 19 Summa on Intellego by Caecilius be... 41?

Or does the 'effective maximum quality for Art Summae is (35-level)' come into play? THe word 'effective' throws me here. I'd like it explained.

In that case, it'd be 16 Quality, right, if written to a level 19?

Looking at the corebook... it seems a quality 36, level 19 summae is feasible here with the trade off of level for quality on a point for point basis.

Am I wrong? I get a feeling the language may have slipped a bit between Ars5 core and Covenants.

Thanks in advance...


No, I got a clarification out of Timothy earlier. The maximum possible quality is twice the base quality, not three times. I believe the 35-Level Quality limit is a quick and dirty limit for point-bought books when you don't want to bother about just who the author might be. It is rare to find an expert who is also a gifted writer.

So, let's assume a Base Quality of 13:

  • Base = 3
  • Artisans = 3
  • Com = 4
  • Good Teacher = 3

The book's quality may not be raised above 26 via level reduction. I assume that resonance comes on top of that.

So Caecilius can write a Level 20 Quality 13 summa, for an L+Q total of 33, very close to the theoretical maximum of 35. He can at most increase the quality to 26 by writing a Level 7 summa.

So, your range is L7,Q26 to L20, Q13, with resonances added on top. I believe ArM5 actually does assume that an art score of 40 is the practical maximum based on learning rates, longevity, etc.