Hey all- new here. Been playing AM since 3rd ed- Respect to game designers et all for concept, and for improvements. Well done, and thanks!
I had some questions about apprentices, and the claiming of them.
The requisite that a mage needs a 5 in all Arts... who checks on that? How could it be enforced? BTR, a mage needs a 5 before he can teach an Art- ok, so he teaches other ones until he remedies that little deficiency. By the time he gets around to that Art, a decade later, it's all good.
Or, at worst, the Parens teaches only Scribing and Magic theory and such until he has a 5 in each Art, and then he starts in on teaching the Arts themselves. If Magic Theory can be learned by someone non-gifted (an alchemist or scholar, for instance), there's no apparent reason an apprentice would progress any differently under a Parens with such a lack, merely foregoing any and all Arts until later in his studies.
Do Quasitores administer some "fitness test" for Parens? <ulp!> Is there a "Parens Gauntlet" that's administered when the Parens presents the apprentice at Tribunal? Who's to challenge, to verify capability? (Or the apprentice's progress, for that matter?)
Alternately, a mage could find a likely prospect, and begin to teach them, but NOT technically, officially claim them as an apprentice for some years. (Disembling this fact to sodales who have better things to worry about than stealing a prospective apprentice, keeping a low profile and avoiding the one Tribunal during that cycle.) Then, after years of groundwork, the "official" 15 year apprenticeship starts.
Also, altho' a child need be a minimum age (8 or so) to learn magic effectively, is there any reason they couldn't be claimed earlier (perhaps even pre-nataly?! But that's a different discussion.) So long as the requirement of Teaching one season/year is met, it's up to the Parens what raw material they work with, neh?
One reason I ask, is that I'm running a Tytalus who's thinking about challenging these customs- what is possible, vs merely accepted practice.