I need to know what people think its a fair price for labtexts for a game of newly gauntleted magi. (Their covenant has an income of a total of 16-21 vis per year
I would say one pawn is worth 20 levels
Have a look at Covenants p. 95 about the assumptions you make when pricing Hermetic books IYC. It is better to start with the capabilities and interests of a few neighbouring covenants defining the market, than with an arbitrary book price, around which these covenants need to be built later.
If you need to bring in lab texts really fast into the campaign, have some come from far away and be offered by Redcaps - so the price does not set much of a precedent.
We usually look at what a magus must spend in terms of time to produce the item, and what he could have have produced by extracting vis.
A minor book (tractatus in useful Quality range*) or lab texts for common spells (e.g. found in core book, or perhaps even just in any published material) no more than magnitude 7-8 is probably worth 2-3 pawns in my sagas, less if very common.
A reasonably skilled magus can write in full a lot of levels of his known spells in a season, with a minimum of Latin 4 this is 80 levels written from personal notes. Copying from those already written in full requires Profession: Scribe and IMHO any magus worth his salt should invest a few points here. I routinely raise Scribe to 2 or 3, so that's 120-180 levels copying per season. Supposing 1 pawn per 20 levels that is 4 pawns for any magus with minimum Latin score or 6-9 pawns per season for a proficient scribe. Not too shabby a pay-off for investing a few seasons writing and copying, if you can find a market for your spells. And if you have Exp for Scribe, plenty of other places to spend them though - many of them more fun.
*) Although the scale for this depends on the saga, some Troupes believe only Com 5 + Good Teacher magi ever publish books because why bother with the rest?
In our Saga, we use these guidelines:
Mundane Ability Summa: (Level + Quality Bonus) x 1 Pounds
Mundane Ability Tractatus: Quality Bonus x 2 Pounds
Arcane/Supernatural Ability Summa: (Level x 2) + (Quality Bonus)) x 1 Pawns
Arcane/Supernatural Ability Tractatus: Quality Bonus x 2 Pawns
Art Summa: (Level + Quality Bonus) x 1 Pawns
Art Tractatus: Quality Bonus x 1 Pawns
Spell Laboratory Text: Level / 10 Pawns
Casting Tablet: Level / 5 Pawns
Enchanted Item Laboratory Text: Total Levels / 10 Pawns
Enchanted Item: Total Pawns Invested x 3-5 (or more) Pawns
My house rules, and the math for how the price was determined, can be found here: