Transient Labs - what are they and what is the effect of a lab being sharable?

I may be missing something here - The rules in covenants for taking over a lab says that you can use a laboratory without having to spend time making it your own if it is designed as a transient lab, and gives the shared labs at Durenmar as an example. Covenants doesn't give any further info I can find about shared labs, in terms of what having a lab be a 'Transient' lab does to the design.

I've checked both the HoH:TL book and the Guardians of the Forest book (being places where lots of Durenmar stuff is explored) and there is nothing there either that I can find - also searched the forum and found very little about this. The lack of questions on the forum makes me thing there are rules about communal labs I am missing - can someone point me to them?

I'd have thought there would be some limits to how developed they might be with features / limits to features etc - but so far as I can tell any lab can be transient with no restrictions on how it can be built up, and so all labs probably should be, to allow apprentices to work in them with the increased bonuses they can give, so you could rent highly specialised labs to people who would otherwise never have access to them, etc? There are cannon reasons not to do this (sanctums etc) but I can also see a market for someone having a really high CrCo lab specialised in LRs they rent out to people.

I feel like I am missing something here - are there rules I have overlooked? If not do people have any house rules for this?

Covenants p.106 calls these "standard labs". These can be passed from user to user with little effort by each.

Standard labs are the starting basic lab? If that was the case where transient labs can't have refinement etc it would make sense

But if you look at the example labs in covenant's the 4 labs in the tower of bonisagus are explicitly for visitors to use, and are not standard but have several virtues and flaws?

Covenants p.123 describes these labs as "designed for visitors to the library to invent spells with the aid of its lab texts." Looks like clever Bonisagi cut a few corners and designed labs for visitors, who all pursue the same narrow purpose. Right?

There are tmk no specific rules for such labs. But if you look at their design, you find them pretty generic but for Refinement, Upkeep, Aesthetics and Site of Legend - all maintained by Durenmar and fitting for them.

I agree. This is an annoying omission by the authors.

The basic rule is simple IIRC. If the refinement is zero, you can take over the lab with no penalty. If the lab has been refined, you need a season to acquaint yourself therewith.

How you can make transient labs with non-zero refinement is never stated. If you twist my arm and demand a solution tonight, I would suggest that transient lab is a major virtue, thus draining excess space and taking two seasons to install. Narratively this probably amounts to excess space to make it easier to get an overview, as well as wall boards explaining the outline and the safety procedures, and additional user manuals.


Yeah. I’d probably limit it to “no refinement” which the Durenmar Labs have, but also primarily limited to free or minor lab virtues and flaws. Things like Superior equipment/tools or the ingredients VFs would be fine as would structural things that may take space like Spacious or Auspicious Shape or dependent on location like subterranean or mountaintop or dedicated building. I don’t think there is a good hard and fast rule around this other than “no refinement” which the one example we have breaks. Outside of that I think it’s up to the troupe to decide which things are part of the lab no matter the routine and which are dependent on the magus to somehow utilize. I’d generally put Features and Focuses into the second camp (how does a maga utilize a throne in their lab work?).