What is a library?
A character's library background represents a collection of books and other materials that serve as reference material for the character in the pursuit of his art. Libraries are traditionally focused towards what a character knows and what his goals eventually are.
How big is a Library?
Libraries are not small. As a guideline, a library's rank represents a number of items (not just books) equal to the square of the rank times 1000. Thus, a Rank 1 library contains 1000 items; a Rank 2 library contains 4000 items, and a Rank 5 library contains 25,000 items. Collections of this size are not formed overnight--they have been compiled over a minimum of decades, and in some case, centuries.
What does Library mean for research?
When a character wants to research a problem or seek help in developing some aspect of magic, there is not one book that exists in the library to answer his question. There is nothing like "Forces Step Two" or "Sorcery Paths of Hellfire part 3." He will consult a variety of books which will have information in quantities varying from chapters on the subject to marginalia. In order to mine significant information from a library, it takes not only the possession of the texts themselves, but also serious practice in reading the style of those particular texts, as well as a firm foundation in what the texts are about. Thus, it is not possible for a character to take two books from another character's library and "get something" out of it.
Can I copy someone's Library?
Given the size and importance of these libraries, one thing that is seldom if ever done is "copying them." First and most important, copying a library without learning the skills which accompany it is like learning the vocabulary of a language without learning the grammar. Photocopying and digitization does not teach the skill.
Second, copying books and artifacts takes time and money. You can rush it, but in the end you'll get bad copies with which you won't be able to do anything.
Third, if you have them, your superiors will most likely see you as either dangerous fool or a traitor if you go spreading crucial resources over the landscape. There will be IC consequences for allowing unrestricted access to your library or photocopying it for your friend down the street. That being said, the access and lending of libraries is a powerful political tool. Be aware of what you have and what you want to do with it. Make sure that you protect them as if they are a valued treasure, and make sure you have enough room for them.
What do I need to get jnoted at the first creation point of my library?
For each of the following, assume you are not a member of the race noted. If you are a Mage, please follow the rules on the Mage sphere page, if you are a Changeling, what is on the fae page etc.
- Changeling: nothing needs to be noted, cross sphere will be handled by the Fae Wizard on a case by case basis
- Mage: Nothing special needs to be noted.
- Psyhcic/Sorc: Please see Mortal+ Rules. What is requested must be noted at the inception of the library. Libraries that change hands will not suddenly teach Sorcery where they could not before.
- Shifter: Libraries is a background Shifters can not have. Therefore, they can not be used related to gifts and/or rituals.
- Vampire: Information must be set at creation of the library.
Please note: some libraries are essentially cross-sphere, some aren't. What a Fae will keep in a Library is geared towards helping that Fae. It does not teach anyone about Fae stuff, but aides that Fae in what they can learn. All Sorcery paths and rituals you would like set on your Library, MUST be approved by the Mortal+ Wizard at the inception of the library.
Can you steal someone's library?
Absolutely! Keep in mind this is a very dangerous act. There will likely be consequences for the theft.
If you do, what does that mean for what it can teach?
Is stealing a library guaranteed to net you an education? Nope. Cross over rules will apply. Eg: if Sammy Sorcerer steals a mages library? Unless the mage had it set up that Sorcery could be learned from the library? Sammy will get no help from the library in learning Sorcery. If Frankie Fae steals Vinnie Vampire's library? The Changeling Wizard will review what the library taught, to determine if anything can be learned by Frankie Fae about Changeling stuff.
Can libraries teach abilities?
Libraries can teach abilities at the discretion of your wizard. These do not need to be listed out beforehand. But an Fae's Library focusing on ancient fairy tales and the magics they did, is unlikely to be able to teach you about Electronics or Engineering.
No. You can only learn Lores from named PCs or NPCs.