Companions, seasons, and free time?

Hi all,

My fifth ed saga has finally started. We had our first session a couple weeks ago. Five seasons passed. It was very enjoyable :slight_smile:.

I'm a bit unclear as how to differentiate between who gets 'genuinely free' seasons, and how to handle those who might not.

I know that Hermetic Magi almost always get 'genuinely free' seasons each year. In all 4 seasons, they can read a book, invent a spell, enroll at a class at the Universidad del Salamanca, spend a season making bracelets, and whatnot. Anything in Long-term events can be done by someone with a genuinely free season.

People that aren't supported by a covenant, and don't have Wealthy or Poor, have two 'busy' seasons and two 'semi-free' seasons. For two seasons each year, these people can only take exposure XP as they earn their living. During they semi-free seasons, they have somewhat more freedom. They can go on a short adventure and take adventure XP, they can 'practice' their trade. They can also practice area lore for where they live, practice bargain (if they're a craftsman), etc. Can they read a book during a season? I'm having a bit of trouble differentiating between what can be done in a semi-free season and what requires a 'genuinely free' season. (Not counting Hermetic Lab work).

Next question: Where do Companions fall on this spectrum? The basic question I have is this: Must I require that each companion take only exposure XP for 2 seasons per year? Or can they get practice-and-above for all 4 seasons? I'm unsure whether companions who live at a covenant have 4 genuinely free seasons, 4 semi-free seasons, or 2 busy, 2 semi-free seasons.
In case it varies on status, here are the 4 companions. No one has Wealthy or Poor.
One is a Redcap. (2 busy, 2 genuinely free?)
Two are Wanderers.
My companion has the Priest Minor Virtue.

While I'm asking about NPCs and such... do you ST's out there make sure that virtues and flaws for NPCs balance? I'm putting together a nobleman to possibly serve as an adversary. The problem is that with Landed Noble, Wealthy, and a couple other virtues, he'd have a lot of flaws to balance. Do you make sure that all points are accounted for? Or do you give NPC's their status virtues for free?

Advice appreciated.
I love 5th ed :slight_smile:

Everybody (except magi) work for 2 seasons and has 2 free seasons. Page 163 of rulebook. JUst checked in case I had been doing wrong or something, hehe

What you can invest your exposure XP in, depends on your troupe, but grgs that train regularly could invest theyr exposure experience points in single weapon, for example. Same for companions

You can only read a book in a "free" season. Consider that the total XP and season division is an all year long actvity. Magi are obsessed weirdos, but most people do not work 24/7 like magi do. throughout the year you get some exposuyre XP and some XP related to what you are centering you attention in. Generally that is 4 exposure XP and 2 "seasons" of practice/reading/whatever XP. Probably that means that it took you 6 months to read the books you were reading and that you also picked some area lore XP due to wandering around looking for nice places to read :slight_smile: Do not consider it to be a clear cut 4 season thing, but a year round breakdown of your activities. :slight_smile:


Hi to you. For NPC's I don't bother giving a nobleman a Nobility Virtue (or wealth, etc.). The only virtues/flaws I concern my NPC's with are those that impact actual play, like the nobleman who is also a masterful jouster or swordsman, or a drunkard, etc. The strict Virtue/Flaw assignment is, IMHO, meant for PC's to keep some semblance of game balance (i.e., no super-wealthy superheroes who are immortal, etc.). NPC's are, by their nature, the SG's creation and can be anything the SG wants.

Dont bother balancing them out if it means the character wont be what heยดs supposed to be.
However, a good idea is to make even NPCs like this in such a way that IF it happens to become a PC instead, it is still playable without making the game a "oneman-show".
If you have a good idea/theme, go with it regardless, but if you CAN keep it reasonably balanced(or "realistic"), do so.

I would say that anyone part of a covenant(or alike) could simply be excepted to this rule, because if the "boss" wants them to do something else than their regular job, they probably wont be arguing.
Also, someone who is purely a longterm guest at the covenant without any other connections or responsibilities is pretty much "all free"...