Apprentices & Parma

Apprentices had an interesting new rule concerning learning Parma. The books says that it is assumed that apprentices gain exposure x.p. in Parma Magica by being included in their paren's parma, also some wizards will actually directly instruct the apprentice in parma. But, either way the parens witholds a last bit of secret information vital to invoking the ritual. When the apprentice is finally gauntleted the parens can impart the secret information and the newly gauntleted magi can then raise their parma.

I assume this rule was included to allow newly gauntleted magi to have a score in parma, potentially even higher then one, without undergoing a full season of instruction. (or a season processing an initiation ordeal)

There other interesting consequences to this rule.

Apprentices can and do have scores in parma. While they can't invoke them for the purposes of MR they might still be useful in Certamen. Makes a certain amount of sense for the houses that tend to include certamen in their gauntlets.

The ability can be taught without reveling a key bit of information necessary to raising parma. So, if books where written without this key parma texts might be less risky then previously insinuated. On the other hand it is mentioned that some apprentices work out the secret key to parma on their own, so they still wouldn't be completely safe.

If working out the key is possible, however unlikely, then including Gifted hedgies in your parma for seasonal activities (like maybe learning their Hedge theory ability or lab collaboration) would run the risk of disseminating the knowledge of parma outside the order.

It all looks like potential story to me. :slight_smile:

Since there is no explanation of what the Parma ritual is, I explained it to my players thusly (I'm not sure if non-Americans will get the joke):
"Your master taught you to put your left foot in, and then your left foot out. He taught you to repeat this motion. He even taught you to 'shake it all about.' He did not however, teach you to turn yourself around, and that, my friends is what the Parma is 'all about.'"

"Wax on, wax off" comes to mind :slight_smile:

So, we dance or do we do crane kicks? :laughing:


Speaking as a non-American...

...your master didn't teach you to do the hokey-pokey either? That's leaving a significant amount out! :slight_smile:

Yes. I had a thought of a large summer or autumn covenant with a significant population of apprentices. One talented Apprentice works out the key and quickly spreads the information to the rest of the proto-magi she associates with. How do the magi deal with that cat once it's out of the bag. Or play it from the apprentices point of view.

WRONG! Look, if you want Mr. Miyagi as your Parens, well, YSMV, but canon-wise, its DEFINATELY the hokey-pokey, not a crane kick. :wink:

And this is a story with a "not good" outcome. Someone is likely going to die, or have something significantly bad happen to them. The secret of Parma Magica getting out is kind of a big deal. I have always thought that the ritual is performed in such a way that the part that has to be taught separately is done mentally, so it cannot be easily guessed based on actions/movements. Is it possible for it to be discovered by some enterprising apprentice? Perhaps. What is the master going to do to such an apprentice? Well, gauntleting him immediately comes to mind. I'd march him straight to the closest Quaesitor tell him my apprentice figured it out, and now the apprentice is ready to be a magus in his own right. Only 7 years into apprenticeship? To bad, sucks to be you, Weak Parens flaw[1]. Probably perpetual emnity between master and apprentice.
If that apprentice has any knowledge of the OoH (Lore), he should be well acquainted with the Join or Die philosophy and that magi who know Parma and aren't members of the Order are hunted down and killed. An apprentice now falls into this category, and puts his master at risk, too.
There are a lot of ways to play this, but given the risks to the Order, I can't think that there are any good outcomes for this story...

[1]I figure this is something that happens in House Tytalus from time to time. Maybe the apprentice was able to kill his master because he finally figured out Parma and a spell his master threw at the apprentice bounced off, surprised the master. A fight ensues, and the master loses and dies. The apprentice is raised to be a magus in full, someone then teaches him the final part of the ritual, but he acts as if he doesn't know it, but in truth he did, and nothing has changed.

Interesting corollary to this scenario occurs to me. A Tytalus becomes a magus in his own right if he kills his master, according to house tradition. Do the master's covenant-mates call for a Quaesitor to ratify the apprentice's mage-hood and teach him the last bit of the Parma? Does one of them do it themselves and send off a note to the Q saying, "Oh by the way, young Upstarticus is a magus now."? Some combination?

I'm thinking that Guernicus will have to be called in to verify what happened and that the magus hasn't taken a vacation in Egypt and the apprentice isn't making up the whole killing-his-dominus thing, and will finish the Parma instruction once he's satisfied that the parens is actually dead, but I haven't run enough (read: any) Tytali to know if that works or not.

Considering the house, I could so imagine them doing it with a throw-away sentence like that.

"no, I had nothing to do with that. No, no idea who did it. How's the wife and kids? Fine fine... Oh! and young Upstarticus is a magus now btw, thought you might like to know."

I've considered the possibility of an extremely young apprentice managing to kill his parens. Either through luck, the parens' incompetence, or the very apropos shear balls and will. A nine year old who's a full fledged Magi could be a very interesting character for some sagas.

Another possibility I find interesting is that Tytalus supposedly has a habit of inducting other Magi into their house if and when they best a Tytalan in a "worthy" manner. This happens even if the Magus in question has no interest in being a member of House Tytalus. The Tytalans just consider him a member and will refer "Whatevericus ex Tytalus" even under protest.

So imagine the possibilities if someones apprentice bests a Tytalan in a worthy manner. Might the whole of house Tytalus now consider the Apprentice a Magus of their house. An interesting political kerfuffle.

Actually, it is not ruled whether the apprentice could learn Parma Magica to a higher level than 1 before learning the final secrets. Personally I find the idea of a magus with Parma Magica 10 and still not able to use it.

It seems to be the norm that magi at gauntlet have a score of just 1, so perhaps one can just learn it to this beginner's level without knowing the final secrets? That may be a fine explanation for me.

Going into House Rule territory I believe my group(s) feel that starting magi with a score higher than 1 are best explained by having an Affinity with Parma Magica.

However I like the idea of a Parma Magica book in circulation, but only those in the know can read it with benefit. Good for stories.

Apprentices page 61, the sentence starting at the bottom of the first column apears to say otherwise.

I agree truely high scores are a bit unreasonable. I'm not sure I'm happy to see a newly gauntleted mage or an apprentice with any ability pushing double digits. (Although there is a case to be made for MT getting up there. After all to some parens that's the only skill an apprentice needs. Why teach anything else?)

On the other hand, even moderately competent magi teach for more than 5 points in a season.