The scriptorium

I have a few questions, and would like to do a bit more towards organizing this:
First of all, I notice that in our library we seem to have given a +5 quality to books written by people with the good teacher virtue instead of the canonical +3. Should we simply grandfather this into a house rule and post it as such?
Secondly Adan has been here for at least a year, others longer, I would like to know who all is in charge of copying texts, as well as any illuminators and bookbinders so I can do a season by season recording of mundane improving or copying books for trade. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that we decided scribal craftsmanship quality would improve the quality of a book (making the scriptorium a workshop instead of a lab), did we decide that illuminators and bookbinders did the same? We should also figure out something of the dynamic between the scriptorium and the librarian- my assumption is that if they are not given specific directions they will choose books to copy on their own (possibly based on damage, etc). I also assume making a fresh copy of a damaged book will restore it to it's original quality.
Finally- on the wish list unless I've missed something- we might want to consider getting a Percamenarius and inkmaker in order to better utilize resonant materials, especially at the +1 level of quality.

are you sure about the Quality? I do not recall doing that. Several books have other reasons for good quality; positive communication, resonance and clarification, and so forth. I will double check when I get the chance, and if need be will revise Quality scores.
I dispensed with the features of Well Bound/Well Scribed/Well Illustrated, and all the stuff like that. Too restrictive and too complicated. I did have a whole page of Features to consider as HR's, but dropped that idea as a needless complexity.
Vocis (Fightmaster) is in charge of the library and scribe work for it, so work with him about it. Vocis will likely not care about Adan being a heretic, and would be foolish to not put him to work.

pretty sure, unless all good teachers happen to have another 2 points of unlisted features that allowed for better quality books.

I skimmed through the ones I added from Vocis's shopping trip in 1233 and they're calculated correctly. I'll trust you on the rest. :slight_smile: I vote for grandfathering as needed, since the books are defined during qp purchase by their level and quality, not the details of the authors. When I added the 1233 books I just bought them by level/quality and made up whatever author details resulted in that level/quality.

While we're talking about books and such, I was curious if the covenant has duplicate copies of any books, presumably prepared for trade. We have the opportunity for trade with the Pyramids covenant, and I don't know if we have any spare books on hand, or if we're limited by what we can quickly scribe.

Well, there are two kinds of heretics. There's the kind that strips naked and howls at the moon, and there's the kind that does the same thing in Vocis's living room. The first one he can ignore, the second one he kinda has to deal with. :slight_smile: Put more simply, Vocis doesn't care how or who Adan (or anyone) worships until it causes problems Vocis has to address.

As for the details of the scriptorium, I have to admit that I'm only loosely familiar with the bookbinding rules in Covenants and not at all familiar with the workshop rules from C&G. I must also admit I'm not that interested in learning more about them. So Silveroak, how about this - you look at the scribes we have and tell me what they're capable of copying and/or improving in a given season. Given that framework, I (Vocis) will prioritize what will be copied and when, with input from you (Adan) and Trogdor (Lucas, Assistant Librarian) and addressing requests from other members as they arise. Note that Lucas has two mundane scribes on his 'sanctum' payroll that we'll also need to account for. We're assuming they can only copy mundane books, but Marko will need to decide what their Prof: Scribe level is.

On a related note, we never finalized the cross-saga trade we discussed over PM. After reviewing it, I think you and Marko need to find a solution for resolving the two different valuation mechanics involved. The framework of the deal is basically complete, but I can't make mechanical decisions like that.

There won't be anything on hand in winter 1235. All available copies were traded in 1233 and the scribes are tied up throughout 1234 with the trade Silveroak, Marko, and I were working on over PM (I'll post the details shortly). That said, there's no reason we can't arrange for book trades while you're at Pyramids II, with delivery to occur once copies are made. It's my understanding that 'copies to order' like this are the usual way Hermetic book trades are handled.

Details of the proposed deal between Andorra and the covenant in Silveroak's other saga...

Andorra provides:
On Transmutation, Muto 12/13
Catalogus Plantarum Mysticum, Herbam 18/13 (not actually available until autumn 1234)
Eye of Aggamatto, Mentem 13/11
Dominion Over God’s Creatures, Animal 15/9
Apparitions and Phantasms, Imaginem 14/10

Andorra receives:
The Virtue of Knowledge, Intelligo 18 13
Primer of Hipocrates, Chirurgy 8 14
Arcane Power, Vim 16 15
Breath of the Sky, Auram 12 19
Secrets of the Earth, Terram 14 17

Roger that. Since Marko didn't list any particular books they wanted, I suppose we can just make up a decent package of books to send over and assume that's what they wanted. :slight_smile:

That's basically how I handled the 1233 book trade. I gave him a list of copied books and he said "it's worth this many qp - go crazy". :slight_smile:

Are Adan and Lucas our only (non-magi) scribes?

No grandfathering or new HR's. If need be, I will change the author stats. Level and Quality are what are important, for added together equals the QP cost. I am not using the Bookbinding rules from Covenants, for that is just an extra burden to keep track of, and I know nothing about book rules in C&C/A&A/etc.

Presume our house scribes have appropriate scores to write clearly, say around 4 or 5. A 6 is not required (I think that rule is stupid, and it is an optional rule from Covenants anyway, so not worried about it).

As for the trade with Pyramids, just make up any package you want and it will be what they want. Straight QP value trade in lesser & charged items.

The deal between Fightmaster & Silveroak of inter-saga book trade is totally on them. I have nothing to do with other than simply approving that they can make a deal.

My core philosophy concerning all of this is to keep things as simple and easy and uncomplicated as possible.

Lucas is Trogdor's Mercere magus. He has two mundane scribes in his employ. Otherwise we have Nicasi the mundane librarian and Vocis's daughter Amada. They're both on the wiki, but it looks like at least one of them (Nicasi) hasn't been updated since 1230. Give me a bit to confirm they're both current.

Then making this as simple as possible, we're basically even by qp but Andorra's 9.5 pawns in the hole by the Covenants accounting Silveroak's saga uses. I say Silveroak's group can record the gain of 10 pawns to make up the discrepancy while Andorra doesn't actually spend any pawns because there is no discrepancy. Different realities, different perspectives, same deal. Silveroak?

works for me.
Looks like we don't have stats for Lucas' scribes who are hired professionals... we can assume a standard workshop total of 6 (usually ability 5 and trait of 1) unless we have a reason to very this either way... That's assuming they count towards the workshop output. Do we assume they do or do not have magic theory at 1 or higher?

Nicasi and Amada are updated on the wiki.

Do we give them each their own workshop? Also do we want to go back and calculate improvements already made for the scribes who have been at the covenant a while? Right now I come up with the following stats:
Amada can copy 12 levels/season with standard quality
Adan can copy 16 levels/season with +1 quality
Nicasi can copy 13 levels per season with standard quality
the hired scribes can copy 11 levels per season with standard quality
Nicasi aided by a hired scribe can copy 16 levels per season with +1 quality
Adan aided by a hired scribe can copy 19 levels per season with +2 quality

If the hired scribes do not have magic theory then using them as assistants makes more sense, since the loss of 8 levels per season is from mundane texts and can be placed into magical texts. If this is the case Amada can copy 15 levels/season aided by a hired scribe, still at standard quality. Note that adan does not know Magic theory in 1234, but from the end of the winter 1235 onward will.
Of course all quantities copied can be tripled with a -1 quality. Thus if a book is split between Adan and Nicasi each aided by a hired scribe they could copy a combined 73 levels per season with +1 quality (Adan would be tripling his copying at the expense of a level of quality from +2)
While some of our scribes have complementary skills such as Illuminator, percamenarius, ink making and book binder, it would be prudent to find specialists in these areas instead of relying on scribes to manage the finishing work, which would greatly reduce their productivity.

Whether they have their own workshops depends on how much space a given workshop takes up. We have one tower of the keep assigned to the library, but it doesn't look like a very big tower. Let's not worry about improvements before 1234.

Amada's and Nicasi's base values match what I've been using, but I'm not familiar with the rules for improved quality or assistant scribes. Can you point me (and possibly Marko) in the right direction?

Maybe. Vocis is still looking to acquire high-quality mundane books on several topics (Intrigue, Leadership, Languages, etc.), so mundane copies will be useful in the short-term. I realize that we could theoretically purchase mundane summae for a relative pittance (silver rather than vis), but trading mundane books allows us to use the simple qp-for-qp exchange rate system Marko prefers, without forcing him to figure out how readily available such summae would be for straight purchase. I'm looking out for you here, Marko - take note. :slight_smile:

How about this - for the first couple years we assign one of the mundanes as an assistant and have the other focus on copying mundane summae. After that we'll see where we stand and re-evaluate. Does that work?

What advantages will having those sort of specialists 'in house' provide? I suspect we're going to run short on space before long.

It is in City and Guild, an assistant adds half their skill, rounding up, to the effective skill of the craftsman. p. 73

It isn't so much a matter of location, and technically we could hire someone with their own shop in Barcelona- at basic skill levels it comes down to financial savings vs hiring someone in Barcelona (or elsewhere), having them available, hired or not, allows the scribes to work more effectively instead of taking every other season to bind books (also our illuminator isn't quite up to professional standards). If we recruit someone of exceptional skill then of course we have to decide whether that can also add to the quality of the books (my feeling is that since all three 'add' by normal employment in covenants that they should...)

Certainly, though there are in fact three hired scribes according to his character information. Also Adan could take an apprentice... a season of training would give the apprentice 11 xp in profession:scribe. On the other hand you risk an impressionable youth picking up Adan's unorthodox religious perspective...

Andre can copy 10 points per season - not as much as the others, but it's something. And he can copy magical texts, if necessary.

Of course, copying books is not his primary job. He can do it when needed, such as before the City of Brass adventure. But primarily he's around to serve as Lucas's assistant.