So, as usual watching the new Harry Potter movie gave me Ideas. This time instead of figuring out what a Mythic European version of Hogwarts would look like, simply running a game based on apprentices. Probably set in an Autumn covenant where by happenstance a number of magi took apprentices at the same time.
But what sort of adventures would be appropriate and interesting for a group of apprentices?
Well, that presumes there would only be magical dangers. I was thinking of starting in year 01 (or lower, with them taking a year or two to learn Latin and Artes Liberales). There must be just sort of... kid adventures, you know? I mean, I know there must be, but I can't think of what they might be.
Well , apart from the effects of the Gift on Investigating ,
especially outside the Covenant.
Give them a pet critter , a Dog with a Might Score perhaps.
It need not have any powers , or be smarter than a very smart dog.
Design a huge, old Winter covenant with many forgotten nooks and crannies, cellars, secrets ... as dungeon-like as you need it.
Have the characters be apprentices of masters close to twilight, starting from first year, who in their off-time explore that covenant together or help each other on the weird errands their masters come up with.
This could get as Paranoia, D&D, P'tites SorciÃ¨res, darkly romantic, or down to earth Ars Magica as you want.
Ask people if they would like to design a character (or two).
I was thinking about age 12-13 with 04 or 05 years experience.
Arts have been opened.
Anyone with Supernatural Virtues still has them (don't roll.)
One idea I had was after their arts have been opened and they've learned a bit to have the Tytalus master effectively bring them down to a football field. They have to get the ball through the opposing team's goal without touching it.
Then I thought, who cares about apprentices, I'm doing this at the next Tribunal.
The Nurakrah Campaign has had several characters live through their apprenticeship.
The first apprentice had two adventures as a weak grog. He realized he didn't have the means to save his village so went in search of wizards that could help him. They did and at the end of the adventure he became an apprentice. So this character had two adventures under his belt even before he became an apprentice. Through out his apprenticeship this character went on several adventures. So to with our other apprentices. Sometimes they are only high lighted at the begining of adventures.
For instance my Tytalus has a habit of torturing, I mean training his apprentice. A session would be complete if I didn't 'train' my apprentice. Other apprentices are constantly given tasks for thier Pater. Deliver this message or retrieve this object. Apprentices can also be proactive. I had an apprentice that was in love with a Magus who was about to get married. On my own, I ran after this magus with the intent of breaking keeping the wedding from happening. Chasing my character were other apprentices who trying to keep the senior magi out of it for fear that my character would be punished/killed.
One must tune the power level to something that is appropriate for apprentices, but they are a great power level to play at. They are like custos with extra powers. Personally, low magic adventures seem to be some of the most enjoyable in our campaign.
I think everyone should have at least one apprentice adventure just to spice things up and to remember how difficult it is to be low level lacky.
Personally, I would love to play a game as an apprentice, going season by season instead of the lump sum.
Because that way I would figure out what my Very First Spell was! Think of it -- when designing a magus most of us specialize, therefore take spells around the 20+ range (30+ with a few hyperspecialists). In reality, however, each apprentice would probably learn a 1st Magnitude spell first. This would be their spell, the one that fits like the comfortable shoe, the one that occaisionally brings back that feeling of "This is where I got started -- wow..."
I mean, can't you just see Li'l Flambeau with Baby's First Firestrike?
Our campaign is currently going through growing pains. Several of the apprentices I mentioned have past their gauntlet and have become members of our covenant. We have chosen to not retire our senior characters.
What I have discovered works is we will have a council meeting where senior members will sit around and decide what needs to be done. These magi will have good reasons for doing what they do. For instance, I need vis and there's a dragon on the mountain. Maybe we should kill the dragon and get the vis (as an example).
Now the senior magi are far to valuable to risk their lives so they tell the junior magi to do it.
The junior magi think the senior are insane. "I can't kill a dragon!"
But it doesn't matter, they are tasked with the assignment, given a handful of grogs, and let loose.
It was mentioned that players dont like being bossed around by senior magi. Well the players have played both senior and minor character. Furthermore, the conflict between the two is a source of drama in the game rather than simply a complaint. We are still working out the kinks in the system, but it is a system that is working.
I don't think players of minor characters should see being bossed around as some kind of punishment and reason to not play apprentices. Instead it should be a source of conflict and drama. Can the apprentices live up to the expectations of the Parens? Do they want to? If they do, what happens? Go to any toy store and watch how much influence 'children' have over their parents. I argue that apprentices more than any other character have the best chance at bossing their Parens around.
Not if you look into the so far published Winter Covenants.I wouldnÂ´t really like to be an Apprentice in any of them........
You probatly need to come up with something really special,like the old Maguses where suddenly wiped out during a magical Ceremony or so.