What do your lab rats do?

I was looking at my maga, a Bonisagus lab rat, and was wondering why she would ever leave the lab. Sure, there's Grand Tribunal and all that, but what (aside from some wonderful schticking) would she actually DO?

So I thought to myself, why not ask here, as there are some veterans who have played a lot longer than my two whole sessions of play. =)

What do you do with a character who all but refuses to go on adventures? More to the point, aside from creating new spells and nifty gizmos for the covenant, why shouldn't this character simply be an NPC or troupe character (aside from needing someone to guide the character's actions)?

Find some rare ingredients?

hunting vis, seeking objects of intrest and whatever work the council might decide he is the best candidate to fix.

Find somebody to make her longevity potion (if she's not the CrCo specialist herself).

Visit libraries. No Bonisagus ever has enough books. Learning from books also beats learning from Vis any time.
And regularly being seen studying in Durenmar is - besides being highly instructive - also de rigueur to be taken seriously as a researcher and get the skinny on other Bonisagus' half finished original research projects.
Making a few acquaintances there also helps to set up valuable exchanges of letters between like-minded magi.

Find out why sodalis Amiculus doesn't respond to her letters any more.

Kind regards,


Finding her Familiar

Familiar might want to take her out from time to time.

War (Wizard war, Hermetic war against other magi, Mundane wars)

Twighlight experience leads to a quest


Sure, Leroy of Tytalus would be happy to lend you his copy of (inset labtext or tractatus here) he'd just very much like you to do a favor for him in exchange.

Mystery initiation.

Original research pretty much demands that you go and recoverthe work of any who have experiemented on that peth before you. It saves years of time.

Inventing stuff requires knowlege and materials the character will go out to find the codex of germination and it's three legendary commentarries that were lost when the covenant of Azure cliff was destroyed eighty years ago. They'll leave their lab to capture the invisible fish of marble loch despite the crazed faeries that live there because they need the imagonem vis.

Go out to test her latest theories and discoveries. Empirical data gathering


Lab rats are people, too.

Does your lab rat have any outside interests or hobbies? (Real life researchers – scientists and engineers – usually do.) If so, she may occasionally need to leave the covenant to pursue them. Even one that doesn’t take her far from the covenant – like going up the road to play chess with the local abbot or fae lord – is potential story fodder. Likewise, even a lab rat might be once in a while be interested in going on vacation/pilgrimage, whether to get away from it all or see a famous magical site.

Also, circumstances often arise in life that you have to respond to no matter what you’d rather be doing. For instance, most SGs will eventually run story arcs that pose a threat to the entire covenant. Your maga might rather be in her lab, but if, say, a diabolist murders one of her covenant-mates, she’s going to have to do something about it. Likewise, all magi are members of a larger society – the Order. If one of her sodales makes enemies, she may inherit them by association. (“Sodalis Quaesitor, I really don’t think you need me to testify regarding my covenant-mate’s recent actions. Oh, you do? Very well, then.”)

Many of the other posters have listed reasons that a lab rat, qua lab rat, would want to get out of the covenant (vis, familiars, investigating others’ original research, etc.), but an SG should be able to craft an adventure in which being a lab rat was “how you got into this mess” rather than the object of the quest. (“The colentes arcanorum have ordered you to destroy your research? That’s terrible, sodalis! What? Of course, I’d be happy to help you hide the Grimoire of Uncleane Incantationes from those small-minded fools. I get to read it, right?” or “Redcap Marco, you say there’s a violent hedge wizard in the forest who appears to violate the Limit of Energy? Hmm… Maybe I could trick him into telling me his secrets. Of course, to do that, I have to make sure the hoplites don’t get to him first…”)

Additionally, a lab rat need not necessarily be antisocial. Especially in house Bonisagus (whose magi are far more interested in sharing their research than is usual in the Order), it’s quite possible for your Bonisagus lab rat to make friends and correspond with magi who are researching fields she finds interesting. That’s also potential story fodder. (“Salve [Bonisagus lab rat maga]! We understand that you were a friend of our late covenant member [other Bonisagus lab rat]. His recent Final Twilight has had some interesting repercussions, and we would be grateful if you could spare the time to come and investigate them. Frankly, your magic theory score was higher as an apprentice than any of ours has ever been, and we’re tired of having to put the grogs’ ears back on.”)

Hope some of this is helpful.

Doesn't the character have Personality or Story Flaws? If those aren't pulling you out of the lab every now and then, you shouldn't get to keep the Virtue points you got for them.

A variation on mystery initation and hobbies. Lab rats have families. Both biological and hermetic.

A former apprentice's spring covenant has failed and has returned home to live with their Pater, "Dad! Where's my room?!?"

A former apprentice owes someone money/vis/items, "Dad, help me pay my bills."

A former apprentice has begun to teach his own student, "Dad, this is your 'grandson'."

A former apprentice is teaching his own apprentice who is unrulely, "Dad, this is your grandson-take him!"

One's Pater comes to visit. "Son!"

One's Pater comes to visit, "You call this a lab?"

One's Pater comes to visit, "I'm dieing son."

One's Pater comes to visit, "I'm not your real Pater!"

One's Pater comes to visit, "I need money/vis/items."

One's biological family comes to visit, "What's this do?"
"I need money/vis/items"

Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister/Son/Daughter/Cousin/4th Cousin Once removed is sick and we need a healing potion/longevity potion to fix them.

I can continue....

His name is ABE. :wink:

The same thing they do every night, Eldragil: try to take over the world.

Why Tremere?
What are we going to do tomorrow night?
Same thing we do everynight, Goratrix.
Try to take over the world!

No. They do not TR to take over the world. They go out TO take over the world. Sometimes a git stands in front of them and twarts their plans, though. But when they go out it is not to TRY.

As that git of a faerie of Yoda said, "Do or do not, but do not try" :wink: "Rego X-wing!"



Thanks for the replies. Though, ncl, I know quite a few researchers, and they tend to play roleplaying games. :wink: That said, many of them tend to prefer brawny barbarians draped with "pneumatic women" to playing wizards. Go fig.

But this all does give me some more ideas. My maga is an obsessive lab rat, and I think the real trick will be getting her out of the lab in the first decade or so. After that, the trick may be keeping her in.

I also play an obsessive lab rat. The thing I've used is the help from our SG.
My character has had some duties to fulfill every other year or so.
The tribunal has a question that needs answers...who get the honor?
Some quaesitor needs assistance... guess who?
A letter from Durenmar, a task needs to be done...me again?

Since the OoH comes in first priority for a Bonisagus, there is a number of ways to get a lab rat out in the sun, "for the good of the order".