Apprentices and Bonisagus Fostering

The way I read it, Fostering is 8 seasons of two-on-one teaching followed by 8 seasons of lab work. To gain the Puissant Magic Theory House Virtue by osmosis, Bonisagus apprentices need 10 years. If we discount those 4 years, it will take 14 of the 15 years before the requirements are met.

While a foster parens of the same House might count as a valid parens, there's still the issue of one-on-one. Are those 4 years lost for that purpose and we make-do with the 11 years left? Should one-on-one interaction includes lab work?

Considering that fostering make better stories, I think I'll count those 4 years as part of the 10 years. Anyone has an interesting opinion?

Even though it's two-on-one, there is twice as much instructional time. That could provide a good basis for your adjustment, which seems a fine one to me.

Ten seasons, not ten years. And the seasons of individual instruction, working one-on-one in the lab, or any other time spent with the magus counts. So, for example, if my ex Misc takes her apprentice out into the woods for a season and teaches her Survival, that counts as one of the seasons she can use to grant a House (or, in this case, Tradition) Virtue.

I agree with what you are saying but... ten seasons is ten years, as only one season per year can count toward the requirements.

If your magus is remiss in his duties for a year or two, it means nothing if you haven't been fostered. With 11 years left, it becomes easy to miss the target.

Where is the one season per year part noted? Sure, magi usually only teach one season per year, but since helping your master in the lab counts, I would expect far more than one season one-on-one with your master. So without some restricting note, I don't follow how ten seasons requires ten years.


I'm not sure where you're getting that only one season year can count toward the requirements. I'm assuming that we're talking about the rules in Apprentices about gaining House Virtues (since this tangent started with gaining Puissant Magic Theory through osmosis). If so, I just reread the rules on gaining House Virtues on p. 42, and it doesn't say that you only get credit for one season a year. And I don't remember seeing anywhere that only one season of instruction a year counts for anything, only that you're legally obliged to personally teach your apprentice one season a year; nothing I recall seeing dissuades a master from doing more.

Oh... thanks for clearing that phantom rule out of my head. :wink:

Yes, and I don't believe you can "teach in advance". Teaching for all seasons of a year does not let you off in the next 3 years, the apprentice can still be legally stolen from you once 4 full seasons have passed with no one-on-one teaching.
In theory this happens when you foster the apprentice to another magus, how does the Apprentices book handle this? I can't recall and don't have my books here - but I'll look it up later tonight.
Perhaps the normal rules are ignored because the magi have an agreement?
And don't Tremere foster their apprentices as well? Tremere outside Transylvania send them to Coeris for a while?

I guess that depends on your definition of "one season a year." I've always read that to mean exactly what it says, that you must spend one season out of every year teaching your apprentice. For example, in 1228 you could teach your apprentice in Fall, in 1229 in Spring, and in 1230 in Winter; you have fulfilled your classroom obligation in all three years.

Is your interpretation that no more than a year can pass between classroom sessions? If you teach your apprentice in Spring of 1224, you must teach him again by Spring of 1225 or else you are in violation of the Peripheral Code?

I believe it says that it is technically a violation of the Code, but it's tradition, and is almost never prosecuted, and even then it's (a) a charge levied by someone who is not party to the agreement, and (b) generally accepted as being rather poor form.

First, yes, as has been pointed out this written as per year, which can be assumed to be valid via calendar year or similar.

Second, as alluded to, multiple Houses do this sort of thing. If you were to go after someone for this, you would certainly find all of Houses Bjornaer, Bonisagus, and Jerbiton and whatever allies they muster against you. Even if you did win, I would expect a Bonisagus to steal your new apprentice from you to teach you a lesson.

Third, there is no requirement of one-on-one teaching. There is a requirement that the master him/herself teach, but not that it be one-on-one. Arts can only be taught one-on-one.

As for one-on-one, teaching Arts and letting an apprentice learn other things other ways is a silly way to go. If I were a great teacher/magus and had four apprentices at once, I'd probably teach all four at once one season, give them all a season every two years with a book on an Art (simultaneously), and have them all be assistants for two or three seasons each year. One of the exceptions would be the first year and an extra season, when I'd have someone teaching them Latin and Artes Liberales while I open their Arts. Three seasons of Latin and one of Artes Liberales should do it. Then I'd focus my teaching on Magic Theory for a while, before turning to Finesse, Penetration, Organization Lore, etc. The other exception would be near the end, when I'd have some reading or something while teaching spells to another. I could probably, with a fair amount of ease, have each apprentice far better than the standard and have about +24 to +30 in the lab for about 30 seasons. That's a very nice bonus if you're working on stuff at the limits of your Arts.


My recollection is that the fostering magus must take the apprentice as his own for the duration, making him responsible for the one season of direct instruction each year, but that there is a standard contract for this that makes clear the apprentice belongs to the original magus and will be returned to him once the fosterage is over. At least, that is how I did it in an adventure I wrote that took place in a newly-founded Hermetic academy. (In the first year, each instructor had an apprentice that they sent home to help their real master in the lab for the summer, and as time went on each instructor took two more apprentices as younger magi joined.)

Ah, yes, that makes sense, Erik. You are allowed to give an apprentice to a different master. So you do so officially with an agreement that the apprentice will be given back. In the meantime the other magus is the official master and so the apprentice is still being taught by his/her master. That works well, and it can work well with the way the Bjornaer function, too.


For the record I believe that as long as you teach your apprentice personally for one season per calendar year it does not matter if the first year you teach in spring and the next in winter.
My point was simply that you always need to spend one of your four seasons per calendar year teaching.

My feeling is that the particulars of what "one season a year means" is pretty much all peripheral code stuff. So it's going to vary probably from tribunal to tribunal and definitely saga to saga.