Art & Academe gives:

Teacher's Com + Scribe's Scribe/2 + 1 + Teacher's Virtues

for Lecture Commentaries, and also comments that "Lecture commentaries will never be as high a quality as a tractatus written by the schoolman."

However if you assume that such a book is subject to the professional Scribe/Illuminator/Binder bonuses; and that the same professional scribe did the original writing then you're looking at a minimum of:

Teacher's Com + 3 + 1 + Virtues + 1 + 1 + 1 = Com + 7 + Virtues

As opposed to:

Com + 3* + 1 + 1 + 1 + Virtues = Com + 6 + Virtues
* noting the errata for Covenants

Meaning that the Lecture Commentary is better than the Tractatus.

On the other hand if we assume that if we're using the Extended rules that the Commentary total includes the +3 for professionals then that's a lot of work in total for a sub-par Tractatus at Com + 4 + Virtues.

How do we square this circle?


Unfortunately, these two sets of rules aren't compatible and you should use your conservative assumption. For book writing rules, especially from covenants, many of the assumptions of difficulty and rarity simply do not make sense in context of the other books.

The short answer is that it is a lot of work for a sub-par Tracticus. The trick is, that it's a sub par Tracticus that the teacher doesn't have to write:

A teaching character may wish to use a scribe to record his academic lectures. These notes can be bound into a tractatus, offering commentaries on the Academic Ability the teacher was teaching.

This is the equivalent to the online learning craze today, as practiced by many universities: Here have a sub-par recording of a course that we would have offered anyways.

Usually, these tractcii are of little value to anyone but the most diligent scholars, but it's a way to squeeze some lasting benefit to the community out of teaching for effectively "free". Beyond that:

The benefit is that they do not count against the number of regular tractatus that a character can write. A character can produce a number of lecture commentaries equal to his relevant Academic Ability score. For example, a scholar with Artes Liberales 4 can write 2 tractatus and produce 4 lecture commentaries.

Thus, it's a way of producing more outputs from the same score than would otherwise be the case. However, characters with the luxury of time for learning, would be better served by simply increasing their abilities.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's only a sub par Tractatus that the teacher doesn't have to write if they don't edit it (in which case it's 1 quality worse and doesn't benefit from virtues). There's no shortage of academic tractati at least this good so probably all the result will do is gather dust in a pile somewhere and the only real advantage will be increasing publication count for reputation. Editing it meanwhile still takes a season; which can probably be better spent elsewhere, even if our only goal is gaining Academic Reputation. Maybe our conclusion is that all lecture commentaries are unedited and poor. \$\endgroup\$ – Senji Sep 9 '14 at 9:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Academia! Remember, you too can assign shitty readings to your students, just because you wrote them. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Sep 9 '14 at 9:17

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