Trading of books and vis

I was wondering, is there some guideline on the trading of books and vis?
We've just started so do not know what is reasonable to ask for a quality 10 tractatus or such. Does anybody have an idea what will be good guidelines?
And is vis of a certain technique more valuable then vis of a form?

Well, I think there may be a couple of ways to do it.

You could use covenant build points to find an equivalent. If you wanted to you could add a premium to the vis of some of the more popular arts.

As we know that a pawn of Vis is worth 10 mythic pounds, you can work out how expensive your books are.

Or you could go the other way, and decide how expensive a book on the arts should be and work out how many pawns that buys.

Of course, none of this allows for rarity or bargaining.

Covenants, page 95.

Two pawns or an equivalent tractatus, assuming you are willing to wait for a copy to be made.

When trading vis, House Mercere holds technique vis twice as valuable as form vis, but that is not recognized at Tribunal (e.g. for vis fines). Beyond that it depends on what the vis market is like in your saga and the whim of the covenant that owns the book.

I looked into the build points idea and I don't think that is reasonable, for example if you compare a tractatus with visstocks then you'd get a lot of vis for a single tractatus.

I can borrow the covenants book from friends so I will read through the sections you mentioned, thanks!

Yup. That works fopr all stocks and all books really. 100 points of books buys you 10 tractatus at quality 10. 100 points of vis stocks (500 pawns) gives you 250 tractatus at quality 10. of course you need to buy them scaled in order to prevent flooduing the market, but the covenant build points are extremely off. That is not alone for vis stocks, but it is the most significant one. Money stocks also buy heaps of mundane books as well, ans the cost of mundane books is so high that makes me laugh when I think that the average library of a monastery will point at the library of most powerful autumn covenants and laugh at them for the poorness of their mundane collection.

The easiest way to prevent those problems are either

  1. drop the build cost for books
  2. increase substantially the ammount of build points that costs to buy anything but books

In any case change the ratio of cvis sources of 1 pawn per 2-3 build points. Is much more consistent with the vis stocks in this way. Right now no sane powerplayer would EVER buy a vis source when he can get the equivalent build points in vis stocks.

Specialists are also funny when you consider that you can buy an archmagus with build points as a specialist: teacher. 40-60 build points or so (can't recall the exact numbers) for a 80 year old guy bound to teach you. The funny thing is that almost all the other abilities that he will have will interest you, including all those level 20-30 arts that he will have. Just to show some sillyness of the maths :wink: Of course that does not stand most SG fiats, but the fact that it needs to have a SG fiat tells you something about covenant creation via build points :stuck_out_tongue:

I would support better a "character advancement" XP system for covenants: some XP per yuear of existance, including major events (adventuring) and the like. After some time, as they reach winter, decrepitude and aging starts to affect them. Etc etc. Giving them a list of 10 "abilities" and 4-8 characteristics or so would be ok. anyway, I am just ranting now.



Pg 85 of TL says that the redcaps value Form vis as twice as much as Technique Vis. This is before their two for one tradeing cost.

In my campaign I've taken it a step further and valued all vis based on Vim vis, since it's the only kind that can be created (without virtues that is). Herbam is cheap since it's common, and Creo and Corpus are expensive since they are extremly usefull.
I borrowed the idea from two of the games i've played in, most recently RRodger's

We also value intellego above the others, even creo because we consider it to be very rare. Mentem is also rare since vis related to human activity is quite uncommon in nature, so it is not a natural occuring phenomena, but only recently appeared sites related to it ("recently" is around 2000 years or so).

In fact it is a kind of metaplot reasoning, since we had a saga blown to pieces by our Intellego 8and mentem) expert, rendering most stories as extremely dull once the dude casted a few InMe spells to know the whole plot and who were the opposition in the adventure. In fact it rendered all the non supernatural adventures obsolete. ASince then we have developed an extreeme aversion for Intellego spells, and specially for InMe. The free will of humans has also boosted the spell levels of the Me spells 5-10 levels in our sagas since then. Not that any player has played a Mentem or intellego expert since then (even if they have limited abilities in those fuields) but the loss of drama and roleplaying downplayed the saga so much that they are as averse to it as me and the beta SG are.




Are you saying that when setting up your Covenant you would take a supply of Vis over a list of Vis Sources?
If so, I would debate your position...
The Vis stocks are a ONE shot deal...
The sources continually supply you with Vis. Over the course of a game, you will get much more out of a soucre than from the other....
Unless of course your games tend to end after a few sessions...

It probably depends a lot on your campaign. Your storyguide's style determines a lot of how useful and how available vis is for your troupe. If every time you want a Herbram vis, it's a full season of adventure, then a bounty of stored vis is invaluable. On the other hand, if established vis sources are treated like expected resources, and sagas last for lifetimes, then I'd go for the vis source. Like everything, YMMV.

You need 25 years of saga time (100 seasons) before the build points invested in vis sources equal the vis stocks. If in 25 years you have not achieved to get a few vis sources regardless of how many sources tyou had previously, you must be playing a radicvally different saga than how we see ME.

In general 25 years to catch up is a long enough time to render vis sources (as written: 1 pawn per 5 build points) obsolete when compared to vis stocks (as writen: 5 pawns per build point). Either vis stocks are undervalued or vis sources overvalued, but the equilibrium is more than suspect.

Idem between vis stocks and library, as pointed out previously: 2 pawns for a level 10 tractatus or 5 pawns for a level 15 summa render the points invested in the library overvalued when compared to vis stocks. if you find someone to sell them, that is. Not difficult in a 13-tribunal order since you can buy far and wide.

See a pattern?

So yes, I would take 200 points of vis stores any day for a starting covenant, and nothing else. I can rise to legendary status (2500+ points) in 2-3 years of game time simply by reinvesting those 100 pawns of vis stocks wisely.

Of course that would make for an extremely dull game and we do not do it, but the maths of covenant creation are suspect in our opinion. I give credit to our resident powerplayer to spot it in the first place. Being "as worthless as a vis source" is an in-saga joke right now. Guess where it came from :wink:

All this simply shows you that numbwers need to be threaded carefully. In my opinion and that of my game mates the covenant numbers are way out of target. Labs are overvalued, vis stocks undervalued, etc etc. There is not even one single point you can use as a reference. maybe the library, but the mundane books are so overvalued it makes us snicker. And better not to get me started about the "standard covenant with 1 grog per magus".

Covenants (and the ol' 5th edition covenants chapter) is an awesome work for inspiration, but we have found that the number crunching is not as consistent. We also have different views on some of the hooks and boons. This is why IOS we take the "feel" out of the supplement and stock even our covenants both PC and NPC) with "what sounds right" for us, not what the numbers tell us to have there after selecting a given power level. The numbers are simply wrong in a number of situations. Some stuff being too cheap and some too expensive. If you do not take an equilibrated covernant tyou can make an amazing boost for your covenant later on, and that does not sound right for us: the growth is too fast for our liking. So our attitude :slight_smile: I think that Timoothy might have been chained by the asumtions in the main rulebook here, so I do not give him much fault in that sense. :slight_smile: I really like the book overall, even if I and my players do not agree with the numbers.



LOL, luckily we play without any real powergamers in our group. If we wanted to powerplay we'd play D&D. :unamused:

We just took what we liked and are now finding out that we don't have the Vis to cast Aegis. :stuck_out_tongue: That can be a very funny adventure I think. We even find that we have no lab teksts with spell's to learn and so we will have to trade with others. So probably everybody will have to write stuff because that is the only tradeable item we can make. Even those with comm -1 will have to write. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hehe, welcome to Ars :wink:

For hermetic usage you can also write tractatuses. If they are quality 10+ they will sell/exchange well in the order. For mundane selling, well, there are thousands of combinations available. Some easy ones are forestry and herding, since they do not require much of a preexisting infrastructure to exploit.


My character writes with a quality of 11, so I thought about writing a tractatus for the covenant and then copying it thrice (copying quickly) so I can trade 3 tracatati with others. That is also why i started this topic.

BTW the tracatus is about magical theory.

Keep a copy of the original (quality 11) tractatus. it is better to have the original work stored for your own use. You can't read it, but your fellows can :slight_smile: And you can sell more tractatuases of yours later on if you have the original one stored, but not if you traded away all the copies you had.



I know, that's also what I said, didn't I? Copying thrice so I can trade it thrice. Besides, we have a rule in our covenant that everyone must dedicate 1 season a year to the covenant, so that's where the original tracatus will come in handy.

Amateur. Palladium's the game system for you. With a poorly GM'd HERO system on the side, and a dessert of Rolemaster. D&D indeed :wink: